Monday, 3 January 2011

Whitby Town 0 v Worksop Town 3 - Evo-Stik Premier Division

Monday 3rd January 2011
Evo-Stik Premier Division at the Turnbull Ground, Whitby
Ben Tomlinson (pen) 18, Jamie Jackson 83, Marc Thompson 90+
Attendance 276, Admission £7.50, Programme £1.50

Temperature - Welcome to Siberia!!!
Grimsby Town marched on this afternoon, carrying on the same form I'd seen them displaying a couple of days ago, by spanking six goals past Histon away from home, while Mansfield Town continued where they had left off too ... losing at home to the Conference's bottom club and relegation favourites Altrincham.
But enough of events in the this place isn't without charm in an odd sort of way, but it's possibly seen better days enclave of 'sunny' Cleethorpes ... today I travelled over to my favourite British coastal location, Whitby.
Things didn't look massively promising as we passed over the picturesque North Yorkshire Moors between Pickering and our destination, freshly coated in a layer of the white stuff that had dropped out of the sky again over night, but Whitby Town had a referee in to inspect the pitch at 8.30AM and he said it was playable, so fingers crossed.
Having circumnavigated the steep hills and sharp bends that make your ears pop and your tummy feel all funny, Whitby came into sight ... and it looked resplendent bathed in golden sunshine too.
The grass was green, the snow had all thawed (or blown away) and it was game on.
And thanks to the organisational genius of Anne and Kev Keep of the Worksop Town Supporters Society, the coach arrived early enough to give us ample time to take in the delights of the harbour with it's "plentiful attractions and excellent array of dining opportunities" before the game too.
It must be said, 'The Abbey' at Whitby is infinitely easier on the eye and far more aesthetically pleasing than the one I visited on New Years Day, just off the Newmarket Road in Cambridge.
The weather was unseasonably excellent, but this is Whitby and I was under no illusions about what was going to happen to the temperature once the sun plummeted like a stone, so I'd bought plenty of layers of warm clothing along ... I don't care if I look like the Michelin Man on my travels (with or without the thermal base layers before you say it).
Obviously the guys in the press box don't give a shit what they look like on days like this either, do they Paul and Mick?
So, without further ado ... on to the main event.
I'm glad the game went ahead and the pitch was deemed to be playable, but upon arrival I couldn't help but notice there were areas of the field of play that looked as if the Turnbull Ground had been hosting a ploughing match ... and I hoped the linesman over on the touchline where the big stand towers over the pitch blocking the sunlight, was a member of the AA so he could get a free tow out of the calf deep mud he would inevitably get bogged down in at some point during the afternoon.
The late afternoon was turning VERY, VERY cold.

It was a strength sapping glue pot of a pitch, so credit to both sides for getting on with it and chipping a small corner off the millstone of a fixture backlog the recent winter weather has created for everybody.
Of course, the players might have just been running around so much in an attempt to keep warm as the sub artic temperatures Whitby is as famous for as it's fish & chips and Dracula connections descended. I hope it worked for them, because marching round in circles on the terrace and bashing myself all over my upper torso with my big Thinsulate gloves was having no effect on own nesh discomfort whatsoever.
Worksop Town were in control for most of the game, a great team effort, with Jamie Jackson looking particularly menacing up front all afternoon, ably assisted by Ben Tomlinson. This pair are developing into a handful for any team in this division and the quality of back up they're receiving from all over the pitch is a pleasure to watch.
It's easy to forget on days like this that this club was all but dead and buried just over a year ago, with the vultures circling overhead and a small but dedicated band of people just about keeping it going on a shoe string budget and a lot of goodwill.
This afternoon, as dusk drew in, the vultures have gone and even the seagulls had buggered off somewhere warmer ... they're smarter than they look.
Ben Tomlinson opens the scoring from the penalty spot
(Photo by Anne Keep)

Ben Tolimson opened the scoring from the penalty spot, Jamie Jackson, who else, had been stopped by any means possible as the home side conceded the spot kick and from then on there was only really one team in it, even though it was seven minutes from time before Jackson himself underlined the Tigers superiority with the goal that clinched the win.
Whitby did have the ball in the back of the Worksop net just before Jamie made it 2-0, but the offside flag had already been raised ... unfortunately the young Whitby fans who charged around to the away fans with their arms aloft shouting "YEEEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!" hadn't seen this and looked every so slightly embarrassed as they tried to return to their original vantage point unnoticed with a few light hearted words of advice ringing in their ears.
Times have changed, probably for the better ... when I was a young urchin who 'noised up' visiting supporters and 'defended my manor' it was at the risk of getting a thick ear and boot in my midriff, nobody was ever charitable enough to ruffle my hair and say "Never mind son" as they walked past me at the end of the game.
Damn those CCTV cameras and banning orders, eh!? ;-)
Whitby swing bridge opens to let a boat out towards the sea

On 90 minutes Danny Bacon appeared to have added the third goal, but the ball came thumping back off the post.
However deep into stoppage time there was still a few moments remaining for Jamie Jackson to pull the Whitby defence all over the place one last time and create the third goal for Marc Thompson.
Other clubs have been taking notice of the Jackson-Tomlinson combination. I hope Worksop can hold onto them as long as possible, they work wonders together and are great to watch. Whatever the season yields for the Tigers, nobody can complain about the entertainment value they're getting from this team, but with expectation levels going off the scale at times given the current league position, I dare say one or two people will always find something to moan about ... you know who you are darlings, do us all a favour and change that stuck record xxx

Man of the match, Jamie Jackson.