Speaking shortly after Whitley’s 3-0 victory at Tow Law, manager Nick Gray agreed that it was a case of ‘job done’ at a notoriously difficult venue.
“You could tell before the game it was a bit flat, confidence is low, but it’s still August. I keep on saying too many people take the highs too high and the lows too low. If whenever we had a disappointment we packed in what we were doing, it would be a sad world.
“This week we brought a couple of new faces in. (Harrison Bond and Marc Ellison) I thought, you look forward to your debut. You go out there and play with no fear. I thought the rest of the group were a bit low in confidence so I think it helped them a little bit.
“A great start, a fantastic start. Two goals in the first ten minutes, which was excellent and got us on the right way. Then I thought we went a bit slow, our build up play wasn’t great. Second half I thought we started to dictate a little bit. At 2-0 it’s always a funny score line. The next goal changes the game massively. Fortunately we got it and after we got that third goal you could see it opened up quite a few chances. It could have been more than three in the end. We certainly had more opportunities. Fair play to them, they had one or two half chances. But I’m pleased with that."
The cross field slope at Ironworks Road is always a test for visiting teams as Nick acknowledged. “I’m pleased with that result. It is difficult up here and we’ve got it out of the way now and we’ve got three points and we’ve got a clean sheet. We’ve scored some goals so it’s positive. There’s a lot to work on still. It’s a long way to go in the season and nothing gets won or lost before Christmas, that’s for sure. I said to the lads before the game we’re fifth. We got beat (on Saturday) by the team that’s top and like you say there’s lots of games to be played. Go back 18 months ago; we’ve made some changes in 18 months! Yes we’re going to have some bad days but credit to the lads, they get disappointed when we’ve had these bad results. We’ve done so well in the last 12 months, so we’re going the right way but sometimes it’ll not go quite as quick as we’d like it to go. And don’t forget, we’ve had a massive lot of bad injuries and bad luck. Look at the people we’re missing today, Cartwright, Lowery, Phillips, Suddick, Davison, Geliher. You know, all these are players who are potentially starters.
“We’re in the top six; we know what our target is and what we’ve got to do. We have bad days but obviously we’ve had more good days. I think we’ve just got to stick together as a group, as a club, and as fans.”