Guisborough Town 3 – 2 Whickham
|18/12/2021||15:00||Ebac Northern League Division 1||2021/22||152||Charlie Marshall|
KO KO 4 11 27 39 45 45 51 72 87 89 FT
In a thrilling, end-to-end match Lady Luck at last smiled down on Guisborough Town as they beat Tynesiders Whickham by the odd goal in five at a damp and misty KGV Stadium on Saturday.
A clearly relieved and delighted Guisborough Town Manager Steve Bell said after the game: “It’s about time we got the rub of the green! We have definitely played better than this today and ended up losing games.
“Before the game I spoke to the players about how we have struggled against teams and how we had to be mindful of this.
“I thought the 3-1 half-time lead for us was just about the right reflection of play and it definitely helps us when Steve Roberts is fit again and back out on the pitch.
“But the second half turned out a bit strange as we seemed to change shape but we sort of hung on in the end but also should have scored a few more goals ourselves. Football is a strange game!
“A very Merry Christmas to everyone at the club and we look forward to a Happy New Year,” added Steve optimistically at the end of the Priorymen’s last game of 2021.
Guisborough got off to the worst possible start when Whickham – eight places above the Priorymen in the league table – took a fortunate lead after only four minutes when a Connor Newton shot from the end of the Guisborough penalty area took a wicked deflection and ended up in the corner of the net for 0-1 to Whickham.
But it took the Priorymen only seven minutes to get back on terms when Guisborough wingman Ben Jackson was bundled over in the Whickham penalty area and up stepped Stevie Roberts to mark his return from injury to despatch the spot kick brilliantly into the corner of the net for 1-1.
Whickham had a chance to regain the lead on 20 minutes when Whickham winger Newton got through on goal but he dragged his shot well wide when well placed.
Guisborough took a 2-1 lead in the 27th minute with a beautifully crafted goal when left back James Risborough threaded a superb through ball to Roberts on the right and he advanced to unleash a terrific rising shot into the net for his own and Guisborough’s second goal.
And on 39 minutes the Priorymen increased their lead to 3-1 thanks to a bad blunder at the back by Whickham defender Kieran Galbraith who gifted the ball to Guisborough midfield general J J Bartliff who smashed the ball past Whickham ‘keeper James Anderson.
After the interval, however, it took Whickham just five minutes to pull it back to 3-2 as the ball fell to Nathan Greenwood in the Guisborough box and he scored into the corner of the net from 10 yards out.
The goal spurred Whickham on who were beginning to look like a different side from the first half and in the 53rd minute it took a tremendous tackle from Guisborough defender Louie Hall to thwart a dangerous attack by the visitors.
It was full-blooded end-to-end entertaining play by both sides in poor, foggy conditions and in the 39th minute Guisborough went oh so close to restoring their two-goal cushion when defender Charlie Marshall joined in the attack and put Sam Webster clear with a neat pass but Sam’s thunderbolt of a shot rattled the Whickham crossbar and bounced clear to safety.
But at the other end Guisborough continued to live dangerously as Whickham piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser and in the 73rd minute the Priorymen were indebted once again to their ‘keeper Robert Dean who made a brilliant save to keep out a rasping shot from Whickham striker Scott Robson.
Then as Whickham continued to pour forward Dean was his side’s saviour once again as he rushed out to bravely and brilliantly block another Whickham effort on goal and it proved decisive as the Priorymen clung on for a narrow but well deserved victory.
There were excellent performances throughout the Guisborough team – Robert Dean was superb once again in goal and the defensive backbone of Charlie Marshall, Louie Hall and James Dillon put in terrific shifts.
UNPLAYABLE AT TIMES
Ben Jackson was virtually unplayable at times down the right flank with his electric bursts of speed and twinkle-toed dribbles – he absolutely tormented Whickham left back Jamie Dunn, particularly in the first half.
In midfield Bartliff and George Waites got through a tremendous amount of hard work as did Sam Webster, who was unlucky not to be on the scoresheet with that tremendous first half pile-driver which rattled the Whickham bar.
Striker Louis Johnson looked lively in the first half and came in for some rough treatment at times and injury forced him to be substituted at half-time by the hard-working James Rowe.
Up front Roberts led the line superbly and looked back to his lethal best with two goals and in truth should have had his hat-trick inside 30 minutes when he shot agonisingly wide with the goal at his mercy.
The crowd was a creditable 152 given the awful weather and the time of year. Guisborough now have to wait until 5 January next year for their next game which is a mouth-watering midweek home derby against Redcar Athletic at the KGV Stadium (KO 7.45pm) when the Priorymen will be looking to clinch the double over their neighbours.
Report: Bill Perfitt
|Helen Conley||Craig Jinks |
|King George V Stadium|
|King George V Stadium Howlbeck Road, Guisborough TS14 6LE|