Guisborough Town 2-1 Sunderland RCA
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
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Guisborough Town recorded their third league win in a row as they narrowly beat Sunderland RCA at the KGV Stadium to climb to fifth in the table.
The match may have been played on Bonfire Night but there were more fireworks off the pitch as the Priorymen ground out a ‘scruffy’ victory – but nevertheless three more very welcome points. Overall, the game was untidy and rarely flowed as well as Guisborough had played in their previous last two impressive victories over Pickering Town and Crook Town.
After a pretty damp squib of a first half it was another goal from Guisborough’s (and the Northern League’s) leading marksman Cole Kiernan three minutes after half-time that at last set the KGV alight. But plucky RCA fought back to equalise in the 71stminute and it was a somewhat freakish Sunderland own goal in the 83rd minute that brought Guisborough another win.
There were fireworks on the field four minutes from time when RCA’s goalscorer Dominic Moan saw red when he got his second yellow card of the game.
After a pretty uneventful first 15 minutes – apart from RCA’s Moan getting his first yellow card for an ugly-looking foul on right back Olly Cann – it was Guisborough winger Jack Blackford who set things alight. He produced one of his trademark electrifying runsvirtually to the RCA by-line before putting an inviting cross into the goalmouth danger area – but none of the home forwards could capitalise.
The match was drifting towards a half-time stalemate before Cann raised hopes of a Guisborough breakthrough with an excellent cross from the right which was met by Kiernan who forced a good save from the RCA ‘keeper.
Just three minutes after the break Guisborough surged ahead when Kiernan found space in the RCA penalty area and squeezed the ball just inside the left post for a good typical of Kiernan’s ability this season to convert a half-chance into a goal.
The goal sparked Guisborough into some of their best football of the game with Blackford again prominent on three occasions driving forward on the RCA goal but ultimately to no avail.
However, midway through the second half RCA started to assert themselves more with a good passage of play which culminated in them equalising on 71 minutes when Moan rose to head home a corner from close range to square things up at 1-1. Not long after that goal there was a short pause in play as fireworks being set off outside the ground were going off above the players’ heads so as a safety precaution the referee rightly held up play but thankfully only for a short while – not surprising with the price of fireworks these days!!
Despite the shock of the RCA equaliser the Priorymen seemed to regain their composure as they drove forward on.
Midfielder Jordan Fielding capped a good display when he put over a threatening cross from the right which was met by Kiernan but his effort looked to be going wide before RCA defender Alexander Nelson deflected the ball into his own net for 2-1 to the Priorymen.
Two minutes later on 85 minutes RCA’s Moan could have no complaints for a second yellow card after a poor foul and he was off! Incredibly it was RCA’s SIXTH sending-off in only their last FOUR matches, which included three in a single game at Pickering. The attendance was a disappointing 182, many spectators no doubt opting to go and watch Middlesbrough who were at home to Bristol City or making their own Bonfire Night preparations.
Next up for Guisborough is another home game against West Auckland and another great opportunity to give their push up the table even more momentum.
After the RCA game Guisborough Manager Steve Bell commented:
Yes it was a really scruffy win today. We just didn’t get properly into our stride for one reason and another. I seriously don’t want to overthink the game too much other than to say we weren’t great today but at the end of the day we still got the three points.
After the game I told the players that in a strange way the result actually pleased me more than the 4-0 win against Crook a fortnight ago. So following my recent message to the team to treat that game against Crook as if it were the first game of the season it’s now three out of three wins! That’ll do me.
Report: Bill Perfitt
Photos: Dan Clark
|King George V Stadium
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE