Guisborough Town 2-1 Penrith
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 45 45 49 54 87 FT
A somewhat bizarre goal from Guisborough’s leading scorer Cole Kiernan three minutes from time earned the Priorymen what looked an unlikely 2-1 win against Penrith at the KGV Stadium on Saturday.
Cole, who was barely 75% fit, came off the bench at the start of the second half and in the 54th minute he scored a good header to cancel out a 49th minute Penrith goalby one of their substitutes, Connor Shields
Then with just three minutes remaining, Cole struck for the second time with a slightly freakish goal when, laid flat out on the ground inside the Penrith penalty area, he swung at a loose ball and amazingly it went in just inside the left hand post.
It was his eighth goal of the season and catapulted his side up to fourth in the table, but with at least one game in hand on all the teams above Guisborough.
Overall, it was a slightly fortunate win for the Priorymen, who didn’t play particularly well but they stuck doggedly to their task to eventually run out 2-1 winners.
Of his 87th minute, Cole was honest enough to admit it was a lucky one. He said after the game: “To be honest I don’t really know what happened. A cross from ‘Jacko’ came over and I ended up laid on the ground and just swung a leg at the loose ball and fortunately it went in.”
Guisborough Manager Steve Bell commented: “The way we played against Whickham last Tuesday night, we would have beaten most teams at most levels – we were that good.
“But for some unknown reason, we were strangely flat today. But despite being terrible we actually won the game whereas last season we would have lost a game like this.
“So you know what, I’ve lost count of the number of times last season that we played well but lost. But we were poor today and won – so that’s the biggest turnaround we’ve made this season so far,” added Steve.
Following their super impressive 3-0 win at Whickham in midweek, hopes were high that the Priorymen would pick up where they left off on Tyneside when they hosted lowly Penrith.
But Guisborough were forced into making changes with several players missing, including Liam O’Sullivan and Sam Webster who were injured, big striker Jason Blackburn who was suspended and team Captain JJ Bartliff who was unavailable.
And without those key players Guisborough were unable to reproduce the devastating form they produced at Whickham and they struggled for long periods of the game to assert any real dominance over Penrith.
Penrith had a great chance to go ahead after only seven minutes when slackness in the Guisborough defence allowed Penrith forward Josh Ward space in front of goal but he tamely shot wild with the Guisborough goal at his mercy.
Guisborough came closest to scoring in the 29th minute when winger Jack Blackford latched on to a poor Penrith clearance but he dragged his shot a yard wide of the left hand Penrith post.
In the 40th minute Guisborough’s other winger Ben Jackson, who was making a constant nuisance of himself to the Penrith defence, sent in a rasping shot but Penrith keeper Aaran Taylor was equal to Ben’s fine effort and so it stayed goalless as the half-time whistle sounded.
Four minutes after half-time Penrith took a shock lead when slack defending allowed Penrith sub Connor Shields to score with a diagonally-placed shot across the Guisborough goal which crept in at the far post.
Thankfully for Guisborough, the lead last only four minutes when great work yet again down the right by Jackson resulted in a cross to the far post and Kiernan directed a downward header perfectly into the Penrith net for 1-1.
After that the match seemed to be drifting towards a rather drab draw but in the 87th minute Cole grabbed his second freakish goal to clinch all three points to maintain Guisborough unbeaten league start to the season.
The Priorymen hope to continue their winning run at home in the league to Tow Law at the KGV on Wednesday, 24 August (KO 7.45pm).
Report: Bill Perfitt
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|King George V Stadium
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE