Guisborough Town 4-2 Pickering Town

Guisborough Town 4-2 Pickering Town

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Details

Date Time Competition Season Attendance Captain
22/03/2023 19:45 Ebac Northern League Division 1 2022/23 251 Nick Hood

Guisborough Town F.C. Logo KO KO 9 42 45 47 52 55 60 72 80 FT

Report

Guisborough Town completed a league double over North Yorkshire rivals Pickering Town as a magical eight minute hat-trick from centre forward Michael McGee powered them to a 4-2 victory.

In cold, blustery conditions the Priorymen started the game on the front foot, with forwards Kiernan and McGee stretching the visiting defensive line and Blackford a constant threat with his pace and trickery. Town’s early pressure was rewarded with a goal after just nine minutes. Shabs Mohammed’s crisply delivered corner from the right was met powerfully by centre-half James Frazer. The ball flew past visiting keeper Escritt and was just reward for the Priorymen’s early pressure.

A goal up, Town did not rest on their laurels. They almost doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Fielding received the ball in the box after excellent build up play by Martin. Unselfishly, Fielding squared the ball to Kiernan. He swivelled and shot on the turn and was unfortunate to see his well-struck shot cannon off the top of the crossbar, loop upwards and strike the bar for a second time before going out for a goal kick. This near miss seemed to jolt the visitors into life.

To home supporters, there was a familiar look to the visitors’ defence. Goalkeeper Escritt, full-backs Ward and Mills, and the centre-half pairing of Roddam and Poole, had all featured for Guisborough in the past decade. They used their collective experience to shut down the home attacks and gradually, the ‘Pikes’ gained a foothold in the game. Increasingly, the game was played in the middle of the park. In a rare foray forward, Pickering produced their first meaningful effort in the 43rd minute when a near post flick was well gathered by home keeper Will Cowey.

Having played the first half against a strong wind, the consensus was that it was a successful half for Guisborough, with the only disappointment being the sight of the excellent Blackford limping from the field.

ATTACKING BLITZ!

If Guisborough Manager Steve Bell’s half-time team instruction was for his side to press home their advantage, they did not disappoint. A 10-minute attacking blitz effectively put the game to bed, with McGee the chief architect. Just three minutes into the second period, McGee created space for himself in a crowded box to slide a left footed shot into the bottom corner to double Guisborough’s lead.

Buoyed by his goal, five minutes later McGee got his second and Guisborough’s third goal as he skipped easily past his marker and fired a brilliant, swerving shot from distance into the top corner for 3-0. Then virtually from the re-start, Guisborough gained control of possession. Midfielder Mohammed – outstanding all evening – played a defence splitting pass into the path of McGee.

Hat-trick Hero, Michael McGee

With visiting keeper Escritt advancing, the Town forward still had a lot to do. He made light work of sidestepping Escritt and firing the ball from an acute angle into the roof of the net to clinch a glorious quickfire hat-trick. McGee – consistently impressive since his move from Wolviston in November – richly deserves all the accolades. But for a combination of last gap clearances, good saves and the woodwork he could have had a number of goals in recent games.

Four goals down and kicking into the wind, many teams would have buckled. To their credit, Pickering did not give in. Having introduced fresh legs, they pulled a goal back in the 64th minute when lively substitute Damian Giliga scored his first goal for the Pikes when he shot through a crowded box. The home side almost stretched their lead on numerous occasions, not least when Mohammed twice struck rasping long range shots that fizzed just over the bar.

With less than 10 minutes left on the clock, Pickering scored another when second substitute Craggs powered a free header into the far corner. If there were nerves that Pickering might stage an unlikely comeback, they never really showed. Kiernan – who had worked tirelessly all night without reward – almost snatched a fifth goal with five minutes left but shot over from close range.

Guisborough deservedly claimed all three points in an entertaining and well-contested game. A highly-satisfied Guisborough manager Steve Bell reflected on a job well-done:

This was a good result. We started very well and for 25 minutes we looked like a really good side. We were rewarded with a goal as we went one-nil up. The wind was a big factor tonight and Pickering rallied for the final 20 minutes of the first half. To their credit, they caused us one or two problems.

For half an hour in the second half we were brilliant. We went 4-0 up and it could easily have been five, six or seven. But the lads decided to ease off in the latter stages of the game. Whilst I wouldn’t say we were hanging on at the end, when the game should have been comfortable it ended up slightly nervy.

A big reason for that was the importance of the win tonight and we went a little into ‘protect’ mode. Overall though, this was a good win and we look forward to Saturday.

Guisborough’s next match is on Saturday, 25 March (3:00 pm) when they entertain Teesside rivals Redcar Athletic. The Priorymen will be looking to avenge their 3-1 defeat in October and to solidify their position at the upper end of the table.

Report: Mark Cowan

Past Meetings

DateHomeResultsAwayTime

Ground

King George V Stadium
King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE