Whitby Town secured survival as Atherton Collieries perplexingly inconsistent form continued, unable to follow up a confident bank holiday win against Guiseley. Club legend Gareth Peet was the man of the moment, celebrating an incredible 400th appearance for the Collieries, and in all honesty he was the catalyst for his side’s best moments in the match.
The first half was an evenly matched affair, the Stripes enjoying the lions share of the possession but wasteful in the final third, Jay Fitzmartin and Marcus Cusani two particularly bright sparks.
However, Whitby were the sharper side going forward, and ultimately converted first through Connor Simpson flicking home a deftly weighted ball from Lew Hawkins.
The second half was a different matter, the Collieries collapsing in a frustratingly all too familiar fashion. The Stripes were gifted a penalty as Peet was upended following a trademark burst of pace into box. He had intercepted a rare Seasiders loose ball and was intent for glory. However a well-researched save from Shane Bland prevented a Danny Lafferty equaliser.
Whitby were quick to take advantage of the reprieve, Harry Green beating defender Adam Rooney with sharp skill before adding a second. Green was absolute quality all afternoon. Rooney's luck was up, as he received a second yellow card for a misjudged tackle moments later. Daniel Rowe converted the cross from the resultant free kick, adding a third goal.
The Stripes added consolation through Jay Fitzmartin in the final moments, a deflected effort allowing the hosts a vital goal should goal difference come into play. It was the youngster’s eleventh of an increasing fertile campaign, set-up by Cesaire Lingouba's first assist for the club.
Marske United host Nantwich Town and Stalybridge Celtic this midweek. Come 10pm on Thursday evening, Cooke and Co will know what is required in the final league of the campaign. Time to rest up (que sera, sera) and prepare for next Saturday’s potentially white hot encounter at Stalybridge Celtic (3pm KO). Atherton Colls: Mackenzie Chapman, Clive Smith (Jesse Ebosele '69), Gareth Peet (C), Cesaire Lingouba, Danny Lafferty, Adam Rooney, Ben Hardcastle, Jack Lenehan (Scott Sephton '51), Bailey Thompson (Adam Haw '44), Jay Fitzmartin, Marcus Cusani Colls Mon of the Match Presented by Atherton Collieries Supporters Club: Gareth Peet - Sponsored by Tomlinson’s Tax Returns