Guisborough Town 1-1 Crook Town
|29/01/2022||15:00||Ebac Northern League Division 1||2021/22||258|
KO KO 1 33 45 52 70 FT
Guisborough Town Manager Steve Bell admitted he told his lacklustre side in “no uncertain” terms at half-time that their first-half performance had not been good enough.
The Priorymen had been stunned earlier when literally after only 17 seconds’ play Crook Town took a shock lead when winger Joseph Smith was allowed far too much space in the Guisborough penalty area and he fired home powerfully past Guisborough ‘keeper Robert Dean.
For the rest of the half Guisborough looked decidedly jaded – maybe their heroic efforts in the North Riding Senior Cup at Pickering in midweek had taken just too much out of them?
Guisborough even missed a great chance to go into the break level when they were awarded a 43rd minute penalty when Jack Blackford was tripped in the Crook penalty area. Up stepped Guisborough skipper JJ Bartliff and although his spot kick was headed for the right corner of the net Crook ‘keeper Ronan Makepeace dived brilliantly to push JJ’s effort away.
That miss more or less summed up the Priorymen’s poor first half showing, with an 18th minute Shabs Mohammed shot which clipped the Crook post being one of the few positive highlights summoned up by Guisborough.
The players had barely reached the dressing room for half-time refreshments when frustrated boss Steve Bell let rip!
NO UNCERTAIN TERMS!
“I told the players in no uncertain terms at half-time that when you pull on a Guisborough Town shirt whilst I’m manager that the kind of performance we’d just witnessed would never be acceptable.
“Although we lost the first-half 1-0, I was actually over the moon in one sense because we had been second best all over the pitch and could have gone in at the interval losing by a much greater margin.
“Whilst that was probably down to our extra efforts on Tuesday at Pickering, I’m simply not having that kind of performance on my watch.
“That said, the lads gave it a right go in the second half and while we still weren’t great at least we showed more energy in our game and, reflecting back, I take the final result as a point earned. Roll on next week…” added Steve.
A crucial turning point in favour of the Priorymen undoubtedly came after 53 minutes when Crook skipper Lee Hume was shown the red card for a very robust late tackle on Guisborough defender James Dillon, who doesn’t stay on the deck as long as he did without good reason.
But despite being down to 10 men, Crook continued to cause Guisborough problems with their excellent passing.
As the second half wore on however, Guisborough started to exert their numerical advantage more and on 70 minutes the Priorymen almost equalised when skipper JJ Bartliff’s sheer dogged determination resulted in a great effort which was brilliantly saved by Crook ‘keeper Makepeace, who was having a superb game between the sticks.
But within seconds, Guisborough’s sustained pressure finally paid off with an equaliser and it was fitting that it was left back James Risbrough who scored with a great finish at the end of one of several fine runs he had made down the left flank.
Six minutes later on 76 minutes only an unbelievable almost point blank save by Crook ‘keeper Makepeace from Guisborough substitute Cole Kiernan.
Kiernan was prominent once again in the 83rd minute when he raced down the right and got in a good shot which unfortunately fizzed across the Crook goal but passed just wide of the far post.
That was the last action of any substance so the points were shared leaving Guisborough relieved they’d got something out of the game and Crook probably pleased at their defensive performance when reduced to 10 men for most of the second half.
For the Priorymen, the two stand-out players were captain JJ Bartliff, who covered almost every square yard of the pitch and left back James Risbrough, who had probably his best game since re-joining the club.
Risborough’s electrifying runs down the left flank were a joy to watch at times for the Guisborough fans in a good crowd of 258.
Guisborough’s next game is the short trip to Newton Aycliffe in the league next Saturday, 5 February.
Meanwhile, the Priorymen’s reward for that memorable win at Pickering in midweek is a plum North Riding Senior Cup semi-final against arch derby rivals Marske United on Wednesday, 16 February (KO 7.45pm).
Report: Bill Perfitt
|Michael Burrows||Givi Todua |
|King George V Stadium|
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE|