2 March 2024

Future bodes well for Seasiders’ seniors

Filey Town Development 2
Withernsea AFC 4

Withernsea AFC’s seniors made the long trip to Filey with a squad of 15, including three players representing Withernsea at under-16 level: Rhyan Hooley, Matty Lumb and Freddie Windas.

In what was the first game in seven weeks for the seniors, it was going to be a real test of fitness on a heavy pitch.

Withernsea started the game well and were unlucky not to be ahead early on when Dylan Harman raced through only to be flagged offside.

With Ciaran Collins back in the Withernsea midfield alongside Jacob Jaye, Withernsea controlled the game. It wasn’t long before they were in front when a nice little cutback was met by Luke Smith to slot home.

This then gave Withernsea more confidence, and they started to play the ball out from the back more, with Joe not really having a save to make in the first 20 minutes of the game.

As the half progressed, Withernsea kept pushing for a second and it came from Korben Harman to tap the ball home from three yards.

With this, Withernsea took their foot off the gas a little, and the game was soon 2-1 when a quick goal kick was played to Good who passed the ball back to Webster, only for his clearance to be charged down by the Filey forward.

Withernsea went in at half-time with a slender lead, and they knew they had to be more clinical in front of the goal in the second half.

The second half didn’t start the way Withernsea wanted it to when a tackle from Jaye on the edge of the box was given as a foul inside the area by the referee.

With Webster unlucky not to save the penalty, the game was poised at 2-2 and could go either way.

Harry Finn came on to replace Collins, who was feeling unwell, which added some fresh pace to the attack and kept Filey on the back foot.

As the Seasiders pushed for a winner, you could see Filey getting tired and struggling to get the ball out of their own half. So Withernsea also brought on Lumb for only his second game at senior level, with his pace terrifying Filey.

After Withernsea won a corner, up rose Jaye to power a header into the back of the net to put Withernsea back into a deserved lead. This then brought more changes as Windas and Hooley came on for their senior debuts, replacing Tom Finn and Billy Frith.

With the scoreline so close and Withernsea wanting to keep their 100 per cent league record, they would be forgiven if they were nervous. But both players adapted to the game well and settled in early, with Windas calm on the ball in the middle of the park and making some nice clever passes. Hooley went in at left-back, and a cross came in from the left wing over the top, with him having to close down the Filey winger to block the cross and clear the danger.

As Filey pressed for an equaliser, Withernsea hit them on the break, and a shot from Harman earned them another corner that was met at the far post from one yard out by Korben Harman for his second of the game in the last minute.

The referee blew the final whistle, and Withernsea got over the line in what nearly ended up being a banana-skin.

The future is starting to look bright on the east coast for Withernsea at senior level. If they win their games in hand, they’ll be five points clear at the top of the league. The lads know that harder tests will come, but it was good to finally get a game after such a long break.

Phil, seniors coach