Pontefract Collieries 1-3 Guisborough Town (Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round)
|Emirates FA Cup
KO KO 9 34 53 69 71 78 88 88 108 FT
Just five days ago, 11 Guisborough total HEROES pulled off a remarkable 3-2 FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round replay victory at Newton Aycliffe.
But yesterday in the next Preliminary Round of this wonderful world-famous cup competition it is no exaggeration to say that 11 Guisborough absolutely SUPER HEROES emerged after another scintillating performance.
For this latest amazing 3-1 victory at Pontefract – achieved against higher league opposition for the second consecutive game – surpassed even that memorable win against Aycliffe only a few days earlier.
The only unfortunate incident to overshadow the game somewhat for the Priorymen came in the second minute of stoppage time when Guisborough’s fine young teenaged defender James Boucher suffered a suspected broken arm after an awkward fall and eventually had to be stretchered off and taken to hospital.
Then, incredibly, with the Priorymen battling on so incredibly bravely they somehow found the energy and determination to score a third and decisive goal by super-sub Cole Kiernan to record three goals in successive FA Cup games after coming off the bench!
After the game Guisborough Manager Steve Bell spoke of his huge pride in his never-say-die side.
“I thought the lads were outstanding again today,” he said. “Once more we had a severely depleted squad of walking wounded players who did magnificently to get us through to the next round of the FA Cup Preliminaries.
“Under normal circumstances at least two or three of them would not have played due to their injuries. We did well to go in at half time all square at 1-1 with the wind in our faces as well as a bright sun in our eyes.
“But with the wind at our backs for the second half I thought we carried a big threat against our opponents.
“We showed tremendous team spirit to go 2-1 up 10 minutes after the interval with a smashing Kurt Howes goal and in response Pontefract put us under pressure for a time with their direct style of play. Then early into stoppage time came the bad arm injury to James Boucher.
‘LADS WERE IMMENSE AGAIN’
“That was upsetting and hard to take psychologically for all of us but we still managed to break away and score a brilliant third last minute goal through Cole Kiernan, another of our players who far from fully fit.
“Overall, I am very proud to say the lads were immense again today, and none more so than young James Boucher who before his arm injury had an excellent game playing at left back – a position he wasn’t accustomed to.
“Unfortunately the only other real downside to today’s terrific performance was that three or four of the lads sustained further serious injuries so we’ll have to wait and see what kind of team we can put out for next Wednesday’s important home game against Bishop Auckland at the KGV,” added Steve.
“Unfortunately, the only other real downside to today’s terrific performance was that three or four of the lads sustained further serious injuries so we’ll have to wait and see what kind of team we can put out for next Wednesday’s important home league game against Bishop Auckland at the KGV,” added Steve.
It took Guisborough just eight minutes to storm ahead against Pontefract with the lively Joe Pickett scoring with another very clever long-range free kick that was virtually a carbon copy of the brilliant free kick he scored five days earlier against Newton Aycliffe!
The free kick was awarded about 25 yards out and once again Pickett deceived the opposition goalkeeper by smashing the ball home just insidethe near post when a far post cross was expected! Sensational once again from Pickett!
Pontefract equalised in the 32nd minute when they were awarded a dubious free kick outside the Guisborough penalty area. Guisborough ‘keeper Will Cowey did well to stop the resulting kick but he couldn’t hold on to the ball and it ran loose for Adam Haw to sweep the ball home for 1-1.
That’s how the score remained to half-time but the Priorymen came out for the secondly half with great determination and focus and were rewarded with a second goal by the brilliant Kurt Howes on 53 minutes. He and Pickett linked up superbly down the right and conjured up a superb one-two with Howes finishing off Pickett’s Cross for 2-1 to the Priorymen.
Guisborough continued to make most of the running, although they were indebted to ‘keeper Cowey in the 74th minute when he made an unbelievable point blank save to preserve his side’s 2-1 lead.
Then came Boucher’s distressing suspected broken arm injury which resulted in a long delay before James was eventually stretchered off and taken to hospital.
Pontefract were reduced to 10 men late on when defender Jack Greenhough was rightly sent off for a second yellow card and Guisborough’s walking wounded heroes were sensing they were on the verge of a memorable victory against all the odds.
And so it proved to be when, incredibly, in the 108th minute Cole Kiernan wrapped up a conclusive 3-1 victory with a fantastic solo goal. He cut in from the right, literally breezed past several defenders before rounding the Pontefract ‘keeper and gleefully smashing the ball into the empty net. It was an amazing winner which sent Guisborough’s sizeable travelling band of fans in a crowd of 242 into rapturous delight.
Guisborough will now be hoping to duplicate their incredible fighting cup form when they return to league action next Wednesday night, 23 August hosting Bishop Auckland at the KGV (KO 7.45pm).
Report: Bill Perfitt
Photos: Dan Clark
|The Hunters Stadium
|Beechnut Lane, Pontefract, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, WF8 4FU, United Kingdom