Guisborough Town 0-1 Bishop Auckland (Emirates FA Cup Extra Prelimary Round)
|Emirates FA Cup
Guisborough Town hopes of an FA Cup run this season were dashed by the narrowest of defeats in a very tight game against Bishop Auckland at the KGV on Saturday.
There was very little to choose between the two teams but the Bishops, managed by former Guisborough boss Chris Hardy, just edged it in the end by a single goal scored in the 77th minute.
Following Guisborough’s brace of impressive league wins in their first two games of the season, the Priorymen struggled to get into any consistent rhythm against the Bishops in this first cup tie of the campaign.
Despite the defeat, however, there is cause for optimism for the Priorymen given that Bishops have started their season like an express train with two league victories in which they have scored no fewer than 10 goals with none conceded.
And Guisborough more than matched their in-form opponents for large periods of the game but they just didn’t have any real cutting edge in front of goal.
In a keenly-fought first half, Guisborough had by far the best chance to take the lead in the 32nd minute when in-form striker Cole Kiernan spurned a golden opportunity when a terrible mix-up in the Bishop’s defence left Kiernan with a clear site on goal with the visiting keeper out of position.
But, inexplicably, he tried to pass to a team-mate who was in a worse position himself and the chance went begging. It was uncharacteristic of sharp-shooter Cole, who in the previous two games had racked up no fewer than five goals. Such is football’s fluctuating fortunes!
Guisborough went close to opening the scoring a minute before half-time when tricky winger Jack Blackford ghosted into the Bishop’s box. He jinked virtually along the by-line and a desperate goalmouth scramble ensued before Auckland finally got the ball clear to keep the score goalless as the half-time whistle sounded.
After the interval Guisborough were first to threaten with a great move down the right flank brought a corner for Guisborough and there was more panic in the Bishop’s penalty area but somehow the ball was cleared.
On the hour mark Bishops won two quick corners that spelled danger for Guisborough but the visitors’ former Marske midfielder James Fairley ended up shooting into the side netting.
Bishops were ratcheting up the pressure on Guisborough and only great defending by Nick Hood thwarted the visitors.
Fairley featured again on 72 minutes when he had the best chance of the game but saw his shot go agonisingly wide of Guisborough’s far right post.
Two minutes later Bishops won a free kick on the edge of the Guisborough penalty area and home striker Jason Blackburn sprang to his side’s rescue by getting in a great block on the well-struck free kick.
Following that strong and sustained spell of pressure, Guisborough finally succumbed in the 77th minute when Bishop’s substitute Ciaran Banks pounced on to a loose ball on the edge of the area and drilled the ball low and hard into the back of the Guisborough net for 1-0 to the visitors.
To their great credit Guisborough battled on right to the final whistle and on 90 minutes substitute Sam Webster went incredibly close to equalising with a rocket of a shot from fully 35 yards out but the ball struck the far post and bounced clear. Had that gone in it would have been an early contender for ‘goal of the season.’
Then a minute into time added on the Priorymen surged forward and central defender Nick Hood got into the Bishop’s box and got in a great shot but Liversedge in the Bishop’s goal pulled off a brilliant diving save to push the ball away.
It was a grandstand finish by Guisborough but unfortunately it was a case of ‘too little too late’ for the Priorymen who at least bowed out of this season’s FA Cup battling bravely to the end in front of a crowd of 364.
Guisborough’s next game is a Northern League clash versus Newcastle Benfield at the KGV next Wednesday, 10 August (KO 7.45pm).
|King George V Stadium
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE