Accrington Stanley 1 Whitby Town 1: CHAMPIONS-elect Stanley turned in a curiously lethargic performance to disappoint a huge Crown Ground crowd, salvaging a point through a late Jonathan Smith header and only really looking like league leaders as they launched a late onslaught to find a winner they scarcely deserved.
The runaway leaders enjoyed most of the possession but Whitby had threatened to cause an upset before snatching a 55th minute lead through skipper Graham Robinson. Lee Ure and Wilford strode forward through some weak challenges before Robinson was presented with a simple side-foot finish past Speare giving Whitby the lead while Stanley were down to 10 men with Smith off the pitch being treated for a head injury.
Accrington upped the pace but prolific duo Paul Mullin and Lutel James were snuffed out, James not getting a sniff of goal while Mullin fluffed a couple of chances he would have put away on another time. Ure almost sealed what would have been a famous Whitby win when he flashed a snap shot across the face of goal from way out.
Giant defender Jonathan Smith looked Stanley's likeliest source of a goal and after a couple of close calls, so it proved. Peter Cavanagh launched a free-kick from the half-way line and the big number five, with his head bandaged from his earlier wound, towered to send a looping header into the net.
Smith and Prendergast each went close to a winner but that would have been harsh on Whitby.