Guisborough Town 0-3 Scarborough Athletic (North Riding Senior Cup Final)
|WOODSmith Construction North Riding Senior Cup
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Gallant Guisborough Town’s glorious run in this season’s North Riding Senior Cup faltered at the final hurdle as they were beaten 3-0 by Scarborough Athletic at the superb new setting of the York City Community Football Stadium.
Despite a scoreline that indicates a comfortable Scarborough victory, the Priorymen actually more than held their own for over half the game against opponents three leagues above them. For the first 45 minutes, Guisborough gave as good as they got in a very even first half and with a bit more luck could well have got their noses in front.
As Guisborough Manager Steve Bell commented afterwards: “I thought we were the better side in the first half to be fair but despite creating three brilliant opportunities we just couldn’t make the all-important breakthrough.”
It wasn’t until half way through the first half that both sides settled and started to create chances. Guisborough’s first real effort on goal came in the 23rd minute from Keelan Wright-Simpson who from fully 40 yards out struck the ball well but Scarborough ‘keeper Ryan Whitley collected the ball comfortably. Earlier, Guisborough’s ‘Mr Dependable’ goalkeeper Robert Dean had to be alert with just six minutes on the clock as he got down well to smother the ball as Scarborough mounted a dangerous attack.
In the 26th minute Guisborough captain JJ Bartliff and winger Ben Jackson linked up well and ‘Jacko’ got in a good shot which was deflected for a corner by a Scarborough defender. On the half hour mark former Guisborough trialist Brad Plant found himself in space in the Guisborough penalty area and got his shot away but Dean made a good save. Guisborough’s Jackson was prominent again in the 31st minute when he made a great run down the left flank, cut inside but saw his shot deflected for a corner, which came to nothing.
In the 32nd minute Scarborough came within a whisker of taking the lead when speedy winger William Jarvis powered down the left and got in a great shot but fortunately for Guisborough it cannoned back off the far post and was scrambled clear. Two minutes later Guisborough full back Callum Martin made a superb run down the right wing and put over a hard, low cross which Bartliff managed to get a touch on but Scarborough’s ‘keeper managed to get in a good block.
On 39 minutes Jackson once again linked up well with Bartliff, whose well-struck shot went straight to Scarborough ‘keeper. So an eventful first half finished all square at 0-0 and Guisborough’s healthy contingent of supporters in an excellent crowd of 1,387 dared to start dreaming of a possible giant-killing upset by the Priorymen!
Just two minutes after the re-start Guisborough went within inches of taking a shock lead when Martin got the ball by the right hand corner of the Scarborough penalty area and got in a lovely shot with the outside of his right boot but the ball swerved just over the bar. But Scarborough retaliated almost immediately on 50 minutes and Guisborough ‘keeper ‘Deano’ twice sprang to his side’s rescue with a double save. And then just three minutes later Scarborough took the lead as Jarvis put over a high and looping shot-cum-cross from the left and although Dean managed to acrobatically arch backwards to palm the ball away it fell to Plant who despatched the loose ball firmly into the back of the Guisborough net for 1-0.
On the hour mark the Priorymen almost got an equaliser when Louis Johnson produced a great run and cross down the right and although Guisborough striker Jason Blackburn managed to get on the end of the cross his effort was blocked then cleared to safety. But Scarborough were starting to impose their authority on the game and twice in quick succession that man Plant came close to doubling his side’s lead.
However, Scarborough doubled their lead in the 70th minute when left winger Jarvis again made his speed count as he slotted the ball home after a lightning counter attack to make it 2-0.
To their great credit Guisborough continued to play their part in what had become an entertaining end-to-end affair and on 72 minutes Martin again made great progress down the right flank and whipped in a cross to the far post where Johnson saw a goal-bound effort blocked by a Scarborough defender. Two minutes later the Bartliff-Jackson combo was in evidence again as Bartliff played in Jackson down the left but the Guisborough winger’s shot was narrowly wide.
On 78 minutes Scarborough were reduced to 10 men when another of their former Guisborough players – midfielder Lewis Maloney – limped off injured and as they had already used all their three substitutes they had to play out the rest of the game a man short. Despite the manpower disadvantage, Scarborough actually looked the better side in the closing stages and in the last minute of normal time a raid down the right ended with the ball falling kindly to Ryan Watson on the edge of the box and he rifled the ball home well for 3-0.
Guisborough’s players can hold their heads high as they continued to fight hard right to the final whistle and both on the night and throughout this memorable cup run they did themselves and Guisborough Town proud.
And after the game Guisborough boss Steve Bell was full of praise for his team. He reflected:
We knew this game was always going to be a tough one. I thought we were the better side in the first half as we controlled most of that first 45. We had two or three brilliant opportunities to take the lead but just couldn’t make the vital breakthrough. In the second half Scarborough brought on some of their more experienced players and they stepped things up a notch, playing at a slightly higher tempo than we are used to as they took control of the game overall.
The 3-0 final scoreline was probably a little harsh on us but I’ve got no complaints on the night and Scarborough were worthy winners. But our lads did themselves and the club proud and now we all look forward to taking a short break before we go again for the new season.
Report: Bill Perfitt
Watch the game again from the Scarborough Athletic TV YouTube stream.
|The LNER Community Stadium
|LNER Community Stadium, Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross Dr, Huntington, York YO32 9AF