Whickham defeated Crook Town as their second win on the bounce was ensured by goals from Mark Fitzpatrick and Zak Atkinson WRITES BEN ROBINSON.
The Lang Jacks struck the crossbar just after the half-hour mark through Scott Jasper’s bending effort.
The home side took the lead on the stroke of half-time with Fitzpatrick’s netting his first goal for the club.
Fitzpatrick could have doubled his goal tally but the forward sliced his shot wide when through on goal.
Atkinson put his stamp on the game, slotting the ball into an empty net to double his side’s advantage.
Coming into the game the away side had not kept a clean sheet since September and had conceded 16 in their last four games.
Whickham came closest after 16 minutes through an Atkinson header, beating the ‘keeper in the air from a Hoganson cross but the ball skidded wide.
Scott Jasper then crashed a shot against the crossbar 18 minutes later following a good spell of possession from the hosts.
The Glebemen’s pressure paid off when Jasper floated a cross into the back post where Fitzpatrick was lurking to head the ball home.
Following an uneventful start to the second-half, Fitzpatrick nearly scored again with George Priest sliding the ball in behind but the striker sliced the shot off target with 20 minutes remaining.
Atkinson then missed a similar chance 12 minutes later after some slick passing leading to the forward breaking through on goal but the defence got back and collectively blocked his shot.
Atkinson got his goal minutes later after latching onto a long pass from Priest where the number nine followed up on his own rebound tapping the ball into an empty net.
The Crook Town goalkeeper denied Atkinson and substitute Kurtis Russell late on but Whickham held on for another three points and another clean sheet.
Next up is Newton Aycliffe on Friday 12th November.
Whickham Starting XI: J. Anderson, T. Howard, M. Hoganson, D. Burrell, K. Galbraith, J. Moody, R. Peareth, D. Bisset, M. Fitzpatrick, Z. Atkinson, S. Jasper
Ben Robinson and Adam Tonnes spoke to Declan Bisset after the game after the midfielder picked up man of the match:
He said: “Our performance was really good, we now have back-to-back wins, fighting in both games and coming out on top. I think today I played well so hopefully I can carry that onto the next few games.”
He continued: “With the change in formation the width allows me and the other midfielders to have more space and time on the ball, it’s really benefitting the team going forward now and keeping a clean sheet was brilliant too.”
Mark Fitzpatrick was also interviewed following his first goal for the club.
He said: “It feels really good, I’ve had quite a few chances over the past couple of games but it wasn’t quite to be, I think if I missed that it would’ve been a wrap but it felt amazing to get off the mark.”
The tactical change has also seemed to have a positive influence for the forwards with the forward commenting on the difference.
He said: “I think previously as a striker I’ve just been chasing all game but now I can drop into the number 10 so I now have more time on the ball and play football.”
He continued: “I thought we played really well today, I don’t think they really looked like scoring, it was a perfect performance from everyone, the defence was solid and going forward we looked really threatening.”