This Saturday we venture to the North East to take on Whitby. We now are on a run of 7 unbeaten games, although the 5 league games see only one win but 4 draws. We will however try to clutch at straws as we try to extend this run. Whitby are on a current form run of 3 wins and 2 draws. They returned on Saturday with a good 3-1 win at Mickleover, so our task looks very difficult. Whitby are a typical mid table side with home league form of 5 wins, 3draws and 4 defeats. Wins include teams like South Shields, Morpeth and Scarborough, so they do well in derby’s, but recorded losses to Warrington and F C United. However, they did lose at home to Bamber Bridge.
We have played games at Whitby since our drop from the Conference North into the Northern Premier League from season 2011/12. Our first visit saw us lose 3-1, followed by a 4-0 defeat the following season. The next season was our relegation season and we lost the last game of the season 2-1. There then followed a two-season gap until we got out of Division 1. The first meeting in the current era saw us fare better with a 2-2 draw, followed by a goalless draw. Last season on April 16th we recorded our first victory at the Turnbull Ground on Upgang Lane.
That game saw us with similar aims as now, as that victory boosted our survival hopes. Tom Thorley scored inside two minutes and Jake Charles missed a couple of chances to add to the lead in a five-minute spell. Andrai Jones’ headed a corner onto his own crossbar in the first half. Louis Briscoe doubled the lead with a 25-yard free kick a minute into added time at the end of the first half. Whitby created a nervy finish in the dying minutes as Adam Siviter could only parry Greg Rutherford’s shot and Bradley Fewster tapped in the rebound. Rangers held on for 3 valuable points, and in the process record our first win over Whitby at the 12th attempt. Our squad that date featured 9 players who are still with us now, although 2 of those are long term injured.
Some interesting facts about Whitby include that Captain James Cook, learned his seafaring skills in Whitby and that Whitby has close connections to the novel Dracula in that Bram Stoker stayed in Whitby while writing parts the famous novel. Stoker was inspired by the moody atmosphere of the town and took inspiration from landmarks such as Whitby Abbey. This adds to the gothic nature of the town with a regular Goth weekend, thankfully in April this year, although Rangers fans would be welcome with black in our colours. Whaling was once big in Whitby with the most prominent reminder being the Whalebone Arch which can be found on the top of the West Cliff near to the football ground. Whitby once had a thriving jewellery industry using the rare gemstone, Whitby Jet. This gemstone, even today, can be found in the coastline around Whitby. However, to most people Whitby is famous for fish and chips, boasting some of the best fish and chip shop in the UK.
Those travelling to Whitby will need to travel by road using the post code of YO21 3HZ. Whitby does have a railway station, but with only 6 trains per day, you will need to overnight twice in Middlesbrough.
Games played on Feb 15th this century
2000 Shepshed Dynamo H 3-0 Southern League Division 1 West
2011 Hednesford H 4-2 Staffs Senior Cup
2014 Blyth Spartans H 2-2 Northern Premier League