“We’re still up there knocking on the door”

Whitley ran out deserved 2-0 winners in their Tyneside derby against Newcastle Benfield and manager Nick Gray was happy with the outcome.”At this time of the year the points are more important than the performances but I thought the first half we were good, we looked great first goal I was really pleased at half time but I thought we sometimes didn’t keep our shape out of possession.

“Second half they’ve come into it and had a go at us. Brassy (Paul Brayson) didn’t take the chance he had and Dan Lister’s made a great save at 1-0. We’ve had some good chances as well. It wasn’t until the second goal that I thought it was won, and it was a great run by Scotty, great header by Sparky.”

Recent signing Mark Davison has quickly made an impact and earned praise from his manager.  “Listen, we’re very lucky to have two number nines like Sparky (Mark Davison) and Malky. Malky’s a great finisher, Sparky, he’s a presence up there, he’s a nuisance; he occupies the defenders, the centre halves. He deserved a goal today. I thought he put a good shift in today. Again though, we couldn’t fill the bench up. We got the result that we wanted against a team who gave it a go today. Benfield are probably just a little bit disappointed at not getting anything out of it but I think we won this game in the first half. We tend to do well when the first half is good.

“Last week was a disappointing result and it showed we’re a little bit short, but this group that we’ve got, this small young group, they come and they give everything they’ve certainly still got a lot to play for. We’ve got the next ten days which are going to be important. We’ve got another important game next week and we’ve got a semi final the midweek after so I’m pleased we’ve got a free week before next Saturday.

“I’m delighted that we kept a clean sheet today. I’m delighted we’ve got the three points. We’re still up there knocking on the door.

“Cameron Brewis came back and it’s good to get him minutes. Scott Lowery came back today, he did great for the second goal, so there are more positives that negatives. What we’ve got to do now - the last month or so we’ve had a win loss win loss - and now you think, can we go the rest of the season without getting beat? That’s the next challenge, we’ve got to go to Guisborough, we know they beat us at our place and it’s going to be a tough game down there. They’ve usually got a decent surface down there. So a good week in training, I think we need it and we’ll look forward to Saturday. We’ve got eight games left, five at home, three away so still plenty to play for.”

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