BILLY Smart scored a decisive goal to send Witton Albion through to the next stage of the FA Trophy.

The midfielder, on target during a midweek reverse at Chester in the Cheshire FA Senior Cup, drifted into a position from which he could convert Will Jones’ flick-on after Anthony Gardner had sent a precise long-throw into Whitby Town’s penalty area.

And, as in a league meeting between the rivals at the Turnbull Ground back in August, one strike was enough to separate the sides.

Rob Hopley had a sight of goal midway through the first-half after intercepting Lewis Maloney’s wayward pass, but his lofted attempt was off-target.

There was little by way of goalmouth action at the other end, although the Seasiders felt they ought to have had a penalty after Adam Gell went to ground.

Referee Graeme Hopper disagreed.

A strong wind prevented both sides from being fluent, although Smart’s goal gave Carl Macauley’s men the edge.

Maloney cursed his luck when his shot hit the crossbar while Matty Devine, making his 100th appearance in Albion’s colours, prompted goalkeeper Adam McHugh to intervene.

There was a second escape though for the visitors when substitute Greg Rutherford was also thwarted by the woodwork late on.

Custodian Greg Hall played a part too, tipping over to deny Jassem Sukar a leveller.

Whitby | McHugh (GK), Nearney, McWilliams, Gell, Lees, Monkhouse, Sukar, Hopson, Beadle (Rutherford 68), Tymon, Maloney Subs not used McTiernan, Cameron Wilson, Bullock, Norton (GK)

Witton | Hall (GK), Gardner, Devine, Wardle, Humphreys, Smart, McKenna, Michael Wilson, Hopley, Jones, Foley Subs not used Yates, Noone, Booth, Cesaire, Moore (GK) Goal Smart 59

Referee Graeme Hopper

Attendance 181

Match report by Phil Chadwick