North Shields v Guisborough Town
Trailing 2-0 with only minutes to go at a rain and windswept North Shields on Saturday, never-say-die Guisborough Town produced a rousing finale to keep their hopes of FA Cup glory alive.
Two goals in the last six minutes from ace goal-poacher Danny Earl earned the Priorymen a dramatic but thoroughly well-deserved replay against the North Tynesiders to send Town’s travelling players, fans and officials singing in the rain.
The old football saying a ‘game of two halves’ summed this pulsating match up perfectly as North Shields, playing with the wind in the first half, went in at half-time 2-0 up.
It was tough on the Priorymen who had matched their opponents stride for stride for most of the first period but defensive lapses in the 10th minute and then agonisingly just a minute from the interval gave the hosts a commanding 2-0 lead.
North Shields’ in-form striker Connor Campbell got his side off to a great start after only 10 minutes, getting the finishing touch to a low free kick at the far post.
Guisborough came back into the game strongly and Earl and Sonny Coleman both went close to getting an equaliser.
But just a minute before the break North Shields doubled their lead when Campbell got his second as his shot from just outside the area evaded the diving Guisborough ‘keeper Ryan Catterick and crept into the bottom left of the goal.
It was frustrating for Guisborough who had more than matched their opponents despite being hampered by the strong head wind as the Priorymen would have been satisfied with a 1-0 deficit at half-time.
In the second half and with the wind and rain at their backs, Guisborough pressed almost incessantly in search of a goal, with combative midfielder Ste Snaith prominent at the heart of the Priorymen’s midfield.
The introduction of Guisborough substitutes Mason McNeill, Donny Holdsworth and Steve Roberts had a positive impact and galvanised the Priorymen as they poured forward in search of that vital first goal.
It took until the 84th minute though for the Guisborough breakthrough to finally come as Roberts floated over a great corner and in a desperate goalmouth melee it was Danny Earl who got the final touch to give the Priorymen hope at 2-1 down.
The goal gave Guisborough – and their fans – a massive boost and as the Priorymen continued to press forward with real purpose.
And in the 89th minute the Priorymen won yet another corner and a high ball into the area was smashed home gleefully by Earl who couldn’t conceal his delight, running over to celebrate with his dad on the far touchline.
After the game a delighted but cautious Guisborough Manager Gary Forster commented: “Overall, I thought we were the better side in the tie – but I am concerned at the way we have been conceding goals in this and recent matches, so we need to watch out for that.
“All in all though, it was a great feeling to get the draw late on but it is only half a job done and we will need to be at it from the first whistle in the replay on Wednesday night.
“I thought Ste Snaith was tremendous today and Tommy Marron had a good game too. Thankfully, Danny Earl dragged us back into life when we looked like we had started to give up hope,” added Gary.
The full photo album from the game can be found by clicking here.
|Daren Persson Stadium|