Guisborough Town 0 – 1 West Auckland Town
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 20 29 55 55 65 70 FT
A disappointed Guisborough Town Manager Steve Bell vented his frustration after seeing his side lose narrowly to West Auckland at the KGV on Saturday after they were reduced to 10 men for all but 10 minutes of the second half when team captain Joey ‘JJ’ Bartliff was sent off.
There are some games like our defeat the previous week at Consett when you’ve got to hold your hand up and say you were beaten by the better side. But this defeat by West Auckland feels a lot different to that. I genuinely felt that overall we were the better side and I felt much more positive about the performance today than last week.
We dominated the first half and should have taken the lead on two or three occasions with Louis Johnson and Steve Roberts clean through on goal. But once we went down to 10 men in the second half it seemed to knock the stuffing out of us. Young Joey Bartliff was superb for us and I felt his sending-off was harsh to say the least.
The new-look Priorymen, with two new loanee signings from Stockton making their debuts, looked eager and in the mood from the off.
On 13 minutes Guisborough striker Louis Johnson stormed through on the West Auckland goal by he was foiled by visiting ‘keeper Sam Guthrie who blocked Johnson’s shot.
Two minutes later Guisborough winger Steve Roberts raced clear towards the West Auckland goal but uncharacteristically he pulled his shot well wide when well placed.
Guisborough continued to pile on the early pressure and in the 24th minute Johnson went close again but his shot was pushed round the post by Guthrie.
Then, as often happens, completely against the run of play West Auckland went ahead in the 29th minute with a breakaway goal scored by Jordan Blinco who beat Guisborough ‘keeper Robert Dean after a West break down the right flank.
So the Priorymen went in at half-time 1-0 down after a first-half performance that promised much but which in the end yielded little.
After the interval the game seemed to be killed stone dead when Guisborough lost their combative midfield general JJ Bartliff in the 55th minute when he received his second yellow card.
His first yellow was a very soft one when he was penalised for an innocuous-looking tackle and the second yellow wasn’t much worse than the first. Bartliff’s game is all about tigerish tackling in midfield which is always hard but generally fair so it was tough on the young player to get his marching orders in that way.
As a spectacle, the game was greatly hampered by West Auckland’s tactics of swarming around the referee like bees after every contentious tackle and the referee seemed overly influenced at times by this behaviour.
It was a great pity given that there was an excellent attendance of 349, who saw some of the best and worst aspects of a non-league football match.
Guisborough’s two debutants from Stockton – defender Keelan Wright-Simpson and winger Sam Conway – played well with the former in particular catching the eye with some great tackles in defence. Guisborough Manager Steve Bell has been busy trying to bolster his squad and has signed mercurial winger James Risbrough from Billingham Town. Risborough played for Guisborough several seasons ago before moving around the Teesside footballing circuit – disappointingly he has arrived back at the KGV with a three-match ban hanging over him!
Guisborough go again in the league next Saturday 16 October when they travel to play Sunderland Ryhope CW (KO 3pm).
|King George V Stadium
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE