Whickham 0-3 Guisborough Town
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 15 20 58 65 67 81 FT
Guisborough Town strongly underlined their genuine credentials as early-season title challengers with a convincing 3-0 victory last night at high-flying and previously unbeaten Whickham.
The Priorymen produced a virtually flawless performance which Guisborough Manager Steve Bell described as his side’s “best yet” since he and Assistant Manager Paul Crager joined the club.
Guisborough made a Whickham side who had won all their previous five matches look distinctly ordinary. Guisborough thoroughly deserved their win and the three points which lifted them to sixth place in the table with 10 points from four matches but the Priorymen have a game in hand on all the teams above them and if they win that game it would propel them to joint second.
After the game a deservedly delighted Steve commented.
This was the best performance since Paul and I have been at the club – simple as that. I loved everything about it – the energy, quality with the ball and to top it off scoring three goals away to a side who had won all their opening five games with only one goal conceded before we played them.
There were too many good performances to single out just one of our players but I was really pleased with new signings Joe Scaife-Wheatley and Owen Lister. Joe started his first game for us and just settled in so well, sitting in midfield and doing the little things that hugely complemented what we already have in that area.
Owen is a player who once he gets fully up to speed will be brilliant for us, it’s important that we all enjoy tonight but then it’s feet back on the ground to prepare for our next league match at home to Penrith this coming Saturday.
The Priorymen started off very strongly and raced into a two-goal lead within the first 19 minutes with goals from their two outstanding performers on the night – striker Jason Blackburn and midfield dynamo and skipper JJ Bartliff. It was a stonewall penalty on 13 minutes that got Guisborough’s noses in front when new signing from Thornaby, Joe Scaife-Wheatley put Blackburn clean through on the Whickham goal and he was upended for an easy penalty for the referee to give. Blackburn made no mistake from the spot, hammering the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the Whickham net.
Six minutes later Guisborough doubled their lead when Whickham ‘keeper Nathan Harker made a complete hash to clearing a long through-ball and Bartliff latched on to the loose ball in a flash and smashed the ball gleefully into the empty Whickham net. Guisborough continued to completely control and dominated the game but they had to wait until the 65th minute when Blackburn scored his second goal of the night – and fourth of the season so far – when the ball was squared to him in the centre of the Whickham penalty area and he fired home superbly for an unassailable 3-0 lead for the Priorymen.
In the 78th minute JJ Bartliff almost scored what would have been a strong contender for ‘Goal of the Season’ when he struck a spectacular volley from the edge of the Whickham area but the ball clipped the top of the bar and was cleared. It would have capped a fine performance by JJ whose all-round work-rate and energy was outstanding. Although JJ along with Jason Blackburn were the two stand-out performers, the really pleasing aspect was that every single player in the Guisborough team played their part in a superb team performance.
Guisborough now face two home games in quick succession against lowly opposition which give them a great chance of further consolidating their excellent start to the season.
Cumbrian side Penrith are the visitors to the KGV Stadium this coming Saturday, 20 August (KO 3pm) then Tow Law are next up at the KGV on Wednesday, 24 August (KO 7.45).
Tow Law and Penrith are 14th and 15th respectively in the table and while nothing should be taken for granted these matches give the Priorymen a great opportunity to get more points in the bag.
Report: Bill Perfitt
POST MATCH REACTION
|Glebe Sports Ground
|Rose Avenue, Whickham, Newcastle upon Tyne NE16 4NA