Guisborough Town 1-1 Newcastle Benfield
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 22 33 72 FT
A Guisborough Town side reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes of their game against Newcastle Benfield at the KGV on Wednesday night did well to hold out for a well-earned point to maintain their unbeaten league start to the season.
The match was evenly-poised in the 72nd minute when Guisborough’s big striker Jason Blackburn received his second yellow card for a foul to add to the first half card he got for kicking the ball away after he’d been penalised. After that Benfield used their manpower superiority to put Guisborough under sustained pressure right up to the final whistle and the Priorymen must have been relieved when the referee’s whistle sounded for full-time.
Strangely enough, it was when the Priorymen were reduced to 10 men that they seemed to find renewed energy on a stifling night to earn the draw which sees them climb to third in the Northern League Division One table. Guisborough started the match promisingly enough and they missed a great chance to go ahead in the ninth minute when Cole Kiernan produced a good run down the left and a perfect pass into the middle where Sam Webster, in a great position, shot woefully wide of the Benfield goal.
On 22 minutes, Guisborough’s 17-year-old keeper Will Cowey made a brilliant save from Benfield’s Edward Thomas, pushing the ball away for a corner. But the resultant flag kick found Benfield skipper Liam McNamara completely unmarked at the far post and he nodded home with ease to put his side 1-0 up.
But the Priorymen hit back just 11 minutes later to equalise when great work out on the right by Ben Jackson who crossed smartly into the middle where Guisborough’s leading scorer Cole Kiernan pounced like lightning the steer the ball home for 1-1.
Three minutes before half-time Guisborough keeper Will Cowey produced a fantastic flying save to turn a rasping 20-year goal-bound shot from Benfield winger Layton Watts around the post. It was a pivotal, world-class moment in Cowey’s all-round excellent performance which rightly earned him the Man-of-the-Match award sponsored by the Guisborough Brewery Company.
In the second half the game ebbed and flowed without any real clear-cut goal chances for either side. Following Blackburn’s dismissal in the 72nd minute it became a largely a backs-to-the wall display from Guisborough who maintained their unbeaten league start but sadly lost their 100% winning start to the league season.
The crowd was a very good 285, most of whom cheered on Guisborough’s Match Announcer Chris Annis when in the face of problems with the Club outside PA system he bellowed out match developments without the help of the faulty microphone, to loud cheers and applause from supporters!
After the game Guisborough Town Manager Steve Bell commented,
I thought we started the game very well and by the half-hour mark I thought we could have been at least two goals up. But in the last 15 minutes of the half we went a bit ragged and allowed Benfield to come more into the game.
We started the second half in much the same way as we ended the first – we were a little slow to everything and they put us on the back foot. We then went down to 10 men with the Jason Blackburn sending-off and that’s when I thought we really turned up.
Everyone was doing the kind of extra running and battling for everything that I would have expected from 11 men so in the end I was really pleased with the point.
Meanwhile, Guisborough are without a match this weekend due to cup match rearrangements and their next match is in the league at second-placed Whickham on Tuesday, 16 August (KO 7.30pm).
|King George V Stadium
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE