Guisborough Town 4-1 Newcastle Benfield
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 57 57 57 71 75 79 84 86 FT
Guisborough Town’s recent new signing from Jarrow – striker Jason Blackburn – scored an amazing 18-minute second half hat-trick to spearhead a superb 4-1 victory over Newcastle Benfield at the KGV Stadium on Saturday.
The match was the Priorymen’s first in almost a month and the win meant they completed a league ‘double’ over their Tyneside rivals, having impressively beaten them 2-0 at Benfield back in October.
For this return match against Benfield Guisborough Manager Steve Bell gave debuts to his two midweek signings from neighbours Marske United – Jack Blackford and Shabs Mohammed and the pair slotted in like they have been in the team all season! It was Blackford who threaded a terrific slide-rule pass through to Blackburn to beautifully slot home his second goal in the 71st minute to put his side 2-0 ahead. It was an inch-perfect pass which it has happened in the Premier League would have had Messrs Linker and Shearer drooling about on Match of the Day.
Equally as superb was the way in which Blackburn latched on to Blackford’s pass, controlled the ball, rode a desperate tackle from a Benfield defender and then coolly slotted the ball under the onrushing Benfield keeper Alfie Gordon. That was probably the pick of Blackburn’s four goals salvo, which started in the 57th minute when the former Jarrow striker got in a great forward position and slid the ball beautifully under the Benfield keeper’s body for 1-0 to the Priorymen.
After his 71st minute success, Blackburn clinched his hat-trick in style on 75 minutes but cutting in from the left and smashing the ball diagonally like an arrow into the Benfield net for 3-0.
His fourth goal came from a penalty in the 84th minute after his fellow striker Louis Johnson was tripped in the penalty area and Blackburn stepped up to gleefully slam home the ball to complete his extraordinary scoring burst.
Five minutes earlier Benfield had pulled a goal back to give themselves a glimmer of hope when Joe Robson got a clever touch on a cross to send the ball looping into the far left corner of the Guisborough net. Before then, though, Benfield had been reduced to 10 men when in the immediate aftermath of Guisborough’s opening goal in the 57th minute Benfield’s skipper Mark Turnbull was sent to the sin bin for dissent.
But barely a few steps on the way to his side’s dugout Turnbull appeared to continue to protest loudly and the referee had little option but to produce a red card. Going a man down clearly didn’t help Benfield’s cause as they went on to concede three further goals. Coincidentally, Guisborough had a man sin-binned when substitute Louis Johnson was banished to the home dug-out but it didn’t affect the ultimate outcome of the game.
After the game despite the obvious delight of all concerned in the Guisborough camp team manager Steve Bell was cautiously optimistic but also realistic about the future. He reflected: “I know today’s result made us look very good and clever and, yes, we were excellent overall and Blackburn was clearly outstanding.” And Steve paid tribute to the support and backing he and his assistant Paul Crager have received from the club.
He commented: “We are fortunate to have some very special people at the club who work tirelessly and show great trust in us along with superb support to enable me and Paul to go out and make the quality signings we have brought to the KGV recently.”
He continued: “Look, we’ve not cracked anything 100 percent yet and there remains loads of really hard work to be done. But the squad I was able to put out there today which deservedly won the game wasn’t just by good football management it was honestly by virtue of a full, all-round effort from the club as a whole. So hopefully it will be a case of onwards and upwards from today but to consolidate we must be at least as good next week as we were this afternoon.”
The match attendance was 173, which was very creditable given the bitterly cold weather and the fact that local rivals Marske United and Middlesbrough were both at home.
The Priorymen will now look forward to their next match which is a mouth-watering Teesside derby against local rivals Redcar Athletic at the KGV next Saturday, 22 January (KO 3pm).
Report: Bill Perfitt
|King George V Stadium
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE