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Vital win puts Reds on brink

Whitby Town 0 Accrington Stanley 3

WHITBY action...James breaks through the defence to score
WHITBY action...James breaks through the defence to score

The reds left the North East coast with three more valuable points towards their Confer-ence dream.

On a warm but overcast afternoon in North Yorkshire, both sides started cagily on a difficult pitch to play passing football.

It took 15 minutes before either side threatened and it was Stanley who were into their stride first. Andy Gouck's 20-yard free kick was taken quickly but the Whitby keeper reacted superbly to tip his goalbound drive round his right-hand post.

Ten minutes later, Steve Flitcroft's deep cross eluded Campbell only for Prend-ergast to head wide of the far post.

Meanwhile at the other end, Laws volleyed Veart's corner into the side netting from the edge of the Stanley box.

With Prendergast surging down the right, the former Bradford winger delivered a deep cross, nodded back across goal by Procter and headed home by the unmarked Lutel James.

The timing of the goal was perfect for the visitors, just seconds before the half -time whistle.

The second half saw the home side almost levelling the score within nine minutes. Minutes later a neat passing move released Prendergast down the right who crossed for Mullen to nod home Stanley's second.

With 20 minutes remaining, the visitors were brimming with confidence, and spotting Whitby's overwhelming weakness in the air, Flitcroft delivered a pinpoint cross from the right for James to score the goal of the match with a sweet diving header that beat Campbell low to his left.

The visitors then celebrated with a mass embrace inside the centre circle as the 200-plus travelling contingent went wild.

The final whistle saw frenzied celebrations from all decked in red and white as the realisation dawned that Conference football should be just four months away.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist