Whitley Bay 2 – 1 Guisborough Town
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 22 23 45 53 53 61 69 74 79 81 FT
Guisborough Town let slip a glorious opportunity to register their second win in succession at Whitley Bay on Saturday but once again a lack of clinical finishing proved their downfall once again as they went down 2-1.
The defeat was doubly disappointing after Guisborough’s hugely impressive 2-0 midweek win at Newcastle Benfield had raised hopes high for a mid-season revival for the Priorymen.
Guisborough had looked distinctly superior to the Bay in the opening 20 minutes of the game but the Priorymen suffered a cruel blow on 22 minutes when winger Steve Roberts, who had looked well in the mood, had to be helped off the field with what looked like a twisted ankle when he fell awkwardly.
The loss of talisman Roberts seemed to affect the Priorymen’s concentration and just a minute later a defensive lapse led to Whitley Bay taking a 1-0 lead.
Firstly, Richard Coulson was allowed to get in a shot which hit the post but centre-forward Adam Shanks rifled home the rebound from the edge of the Guisborough penalty area.
It was a disappointing blow after Guisborough had dominated most of the early play with striker Louis Johnson in the thick of things, but he just couldn’t get his shot away in the seventh minute and then shot agonisingly just wide on 12 minutes after a sublime cross from Roberts.
In the 17th minute Guisborough had strong shouts for a penalty when Johnson went down under a heavy challenge in the box but the referee waved aside Guisborough’s appeals.
The Priorymen were having almost all of the play up to midway in the half, but when play switched towards Guisborough’s goal ‘keeper Robert Dean had to be acutely alert to save his side with an acrobatic one-handed save in the 18th minute.
Then a minute after Roberts’ untimely departure from the field in the 22nd minute Whitley Bay grabbed that first half lead almost completely against the run of play.
But Guisborough continued to push forward and Ben Jackson twice went close in the 30th and 36th minutes – firstly when his hard, low shot was saved by the Bay’s keeper Dan Lister’s legs and then next when his shot clipped the outside of the Bay’s left hand post with Lister beaten this time.
After the interval Guisborough started the second half well with skipper JJ Bartliff stormed into the Bay penalty area in the first minute and got in a great shot but it was deflected agonisingly wide.
Just one minute later, though, Guisborough fought back to draw level 1-1 when new signing James Beauchamp, who replaced Louis Johnson after half-time, was tripped for a penalty and up stepped Bartliff to send a text book spot kick arrowing into the corner of the net and cap another fine individual performance.
In the 49th minute Beauchamp was prominent in attack again and sent in an excellent shot with the Bay ‘keeper saved well.
On 53 minutes Guisborough had another strong shout for a second penalty when Bartliff was upended near the Bay dead ball line but the referee waved aside Guisborough’s claims this time. It looked more like a penalty than Guisborough’s first spot kick, much to Bartliff’s indignation.
In the 72nd minute Guisborough goalkeeper Dean saved his side – not for the first time – when he came out bravely to thwart a Bay attack.
However, just two minutes later Dean failed to hold on to a Whitley Bay corner kick and despite his desperate attempts to claw the ball back he was beaten to it by Bay centre half Scott Lowery who scrambled the ball over the Guisborough goal-line.
The goal was tough luck on Dean who had made two or three very good saves to keep his side in the game earlier on.
After the game Guisborough Town Manager Steve Bell reflected ruefully on another missed chance for his side to push on up the table.
“This defeat today was another missed opportunity. We were very good when in possession in the first half but we missed some unbelievably good chances yet again.
A DEFINITE BLOW
“When we didn’t have the ball, though, we were very poor at times and Steve Roberts getting injured only midway through the first half was a definite blow to us.
“”Unfortunately he rolled his ankle and it looks like it could take some weeks to heal.
Despite this setback, after we equalised shortly after half-time I thought we would just go on to win the game. But an uncharacteristic mistake from Deano in goal cost us.
“It might sound boring saying the same every week,” continued Steve “but if we could just take half the chances we create then we would have won the game comfortably,” he added.
There was an excellent crowd of 381 – easily the top attendance in Northern League games on the day.
Guisborough have a good chance to re-ignite their season when they entertain one of the league’s top sides North Shields at the KGV Stadium next Saturday, 30 October (KO 3pm).
Report: Bill Perfitt
|Whitley Bay Football Club, Rink Way, Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, North East England, England, NE25 8HR, United Kingdom