Liam McIvor reflects on a second narrow defeat

By Julian Tyley

Whitley’s 2-1 defeat at Whickham on Tuesday night was the second time in four days that they had gone down by the narrowest of margins and led to this reaction from manager Liam McIvor.

“That’s two games in a row, we’ve found ourselves 2-1 down at half time and basically we can’t defend the way we are and expect to win games and be in the position that we want to be in.

“From my position in the dugout I couldn’t comment too much about the penalty we conceded but with their second goal I was more disappointed from the position where it started than anything else. It started from a throw in down the side near the dugout and it’s one flick down the line (to Robson) and that s the basics of football. You’ve got to be stronger in those situations.

“We pulled one back out of nothing if I’m honest, it was a good finish (by Josh Gilchrist) and a bit of a lifeline for the second half.

“Taking your chances is what wins you games and we’ve had two good chances and they (Whickham) really haven’t done a thing second half. We’ve just got to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal.”

Whickham’s big threat is prolific striker Scott Robson but the manager said “To be honest apart from the two goals he did score, I never really noticed him in the game. I think Paddy (Almond) was doing a good job on him but in the paper tomorrow it’ll still say he scored two!”

Bailey Geliher made his first start for a while and really caught the eye, impressing the manager and the visiting fans. “The first half I think Bailey was probably our best player. He hasn’t played a lot of football as we know.  He was feeling his legs at half time but I got another 20 minutes out of him so hopefully he can rest and go again Saturday. He’s a good player and hopefully we’ll get the best out of him towards the end of the season.”

Recent signing Marcello Benedetti made just his third appearance from the bench. “Marcello did alright, he hasn’t played a lot of football, he’s probably a bit rusty but you can tell he’s a good player.”

Whitley continue their run of six away games with a visit to Birtley on Saturday and Liam commented “We dust ourselves down and not feel sorry for ourselves and go again on Saturday. We know they’re a good team. We just need to defend as a team, and have that cutting edge.

“Trying to get people in at this end of the season is hard but we’ve got a good 16, so we need to trust them and we will win games. We’ve just got to stop being a bit naive. We’ve got to do the basics well which we’ve done all last season and a lot of this season. We’ve played some good teams and we’ve got some good results in the last few weeks, against Heaton Stan, Guisborough, Carlisle, all good teams. We just need to get a bit of our mojo back.”

The introduction of play-offs for sides finishing second to fifth is keeping interest in the season going for a lot of teams, Whitley included. “There’s still plenty to play for. I think there’s still two places up for grabs between four teams. It’s just putting that run together. Everyone’s got to play each other. You just need three or four games to put you in that position and your confidence will build from that.”

Scroll to top

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies as described in our Privacy Policy