Thornaby 1 – 0 Guisborough Town
|23/04/2022||15:00||Ebac Northern League Division 1||2021/22||265|
KO KO 22 65 76 FT
Guisborough Town’s final League game of the league at derby rivals Thornaby ended in a disappointing 1-0 defeat as the Priorymen just couldn’t find a way past the home ‘keeper to end the season on a high note.
The Priorymen had two early chances within the first 10 minutes – the first when Sam Webster hit a low driven shot from the edge of the box but it was unfortunately straight at the Thornaby ‘keeper. Two minutes later saw the first of many dazzling runs from the irrepressible Ben Jackson who latched on to the ball in the corner of the pitch and took on both his markers. This gave him the chance to square the ball back across the box, but no Guisborough player was there to capitalise.
It took the Priorymen 10 minutes to have another go at the home team who didn’t look like a side sitting third in the league. Shabs Mohammed whipped in a dangerous cross which the keeper came to meet but he spilled it back into the path of James Rowe, who struck the ball sweetly with the outside of his boot, but the ‘keeper made up for his initial blunder and collected the ball securely.
Then in the 22nd minute, Guisborough suffered a blow as a splitting pass beat the Priorymen’s rear-guard and the ball found ex-Guisborough player Craig Hutchinson who got his shot away. Guisborough ‘keeper Robert Dean managed to get down to save brilliantly initially but Hutchinson was free for the rebound which he put away calmly into the net, giving Thornaby ta 1-0 lead. The goal seemed to deflate the Priorymen who had a tough time getting any play strung together for most of the rest of the first half.
But in the 33rd minute Shabs Mohammed put in another good corner which met the towering head of Nicolas Hood, but his effort was straight into the keepers’ gloves. Five minutes before the break saw Guisborough’s last attempt of the half which came in the form of a long-range effort from Callum Martin. Jason Blackburn showed his strength with some good holdup play and managed to squeeze a pass along the pitch to Martin, who struck the ball beautifully from 25 yards out but it just narrowly missed the top corner.
For the first ten minutes of the second half neither side could gain a foothold in the scrappiest section of the game. Play was constantly interrupted by throw-ins and both teams could only string a couple of passes together before interceptions or poor touches would see them lose possession.
But then in the 59th minute a Guisborough attack seemed to inspire the team for the rest of the game. It all began with another fantastic run by Ben Jackson down the left side of the pitch. He took it all the way into the box and round the keeper and then squared the ball back to Jason Blackburn, who met the ball with a clean first-time strike, but a Thornaby defender got back onto the line to block a certain goal. A minute later Jason Blackburn showed his strength again with more impressive hold-up play. He then played an excellent ball through the Thornaby defenders which Cole Kiernan ran onto but he dragged his shot just wide of the post.
The 71st minute saw one of the only chances for Thornaby as they won a corner after a deflection. The cross was a high looming ball, but Robert Dean was up fast to meet it and there was never any doubt that he would gather safely, ending any chance of a Thornaby goal for now. Five minutes later Ben Jackson was at it again with arguably his best run of the day as two defenders stepped out to meet him and he took them both on and won. He then got all the way to the by-line and passed the ball back to Cole Kiernan. He side footed the ball with great precision, and it seemed like the roof of the net would be bulging. But the Thornaby keeper sprang up with cat like reflexes and made the save – turning what seemed a certain goal into a corner.
From the corner Shabs Mohammed picked up the ball in the box following a quick one-two. He smashed a low driven shot towards goal which the keeper got down quickly to smother and end the pressure Guisborough had been piling on. The next ten minutes showed the theme of the second half which was a rejuvenated Guisborough Town attacking well but not being able to find the goal. Thornaby had shown good defensive organisation to keep their slim lead and this single goal proved to be the deciding factor in an otherwise relatively timid display by the home side.
The final chance of the game came from a Shabs Mohammed free kick in the 87th minute. The foul occurred 20 yards from goal and up stepped Shabs to have a go. He smashed the ball through the wall, but it was straight into the path of the Thornaby keeper and sadly all the attacking intent the Priorymen had shown had come to nothing. This victory saw Thornaby complete the league double over Guisborough Town, having beaten the Priorymen 4-0 at the KGV back in September.
After the game Guisborough Manager Steve Bell commented:
I thought we gave Thornaby far too much respect in the first half and didn’t support our forwards enough. I also thought we lacked energy in the middle of the pitch. I told the lads at half-time that there were no excuses and that even if they were carrying a knock or struggling with illness they needed to run more. In the second half we were the better side – simple as that! If we’d managed to score then I’m confident we would have gone on to win the game. That’s the story of the second half of our season in truth. We need to add goals from the team next season and we won’t be far away from success.
Now the League season is finally over, Guisborough can look forward to the North Riding Senior Cup Final against Scarborough Athletic at York City’s ground on Wednesday, 4 May (KO 7.45pm). Let’s hope there’s more magic to come from the Priorymen in that final to officially end the season on the high note the club and its fans so deserve.
Report: Bill Perfitt
|Mark Ryan||Craig Jinks |
|Thornaby Football Club, Teesdale Park, Acklam Road, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, North East England, England, TS17 7JU, United Kingdom|