Jarrow Roofing 3, Guisborough Town 4 (Northern League Division One)
Guisborough Town chalked up their third win of the season against Jarrow Roofing when they staged a superb second half revival to win a thrilling game 4-3.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time despite creating a hatful of missed chances, Guisborough pulled back level seven minutes after the interval only for Jarrow to regain a 2-1 lead just after the hour mark.
But in a devastating six-minute spell Guisborough roared back into a 4-2 lead with three tremendous goals and despite a late Jarrow rally the Priorymen managed to hold on to a 4-3 lead for three precious points.
Following one of the wettest winters on record, both teams and supporters were relieved to see their first competitive game for several weeks.
Jarrow had an impressive record in their previous five home games with notable victories over Dunston and Consett no less.
But the Priorymen had previously beaten Jarrow twice in the league and League Cup this season so were seeking a hat-trick of successes against the Roofers on Saturday.
Jarrow, however, had other ideas and after just 90 seconds they surged into a 1-0 lead when the Guisborough defence was caught napping as James Fairley raced on to a through pass, cut in from the wing and lifted the ball cleverly over the out-rushing Guisborough keeper Nick Liversedge into the corner of the net.
Jarrow held on to the lead for the rest of the first half despite intense Guisborough pressure, but seven minutes into the second half Guisborough drew level when Curtis Round shot home from 16 yards just inside the post after an impressive passing move in and around the Jarrow penalty area.
But in the 61st minute Jarrow grabbed the lead back when the impressive Fairley showed admirable determination to latch on to the ball in the Guisborough penalty area and as he weaved his way across goal he swivelled smartly to rifle the ball into the left-hand corner of the net.
Despite being behind, Guisborough still looked threatening but had to wait until the 77th minute before Ste Snaith seized on to a superb Gary Wood cross to drill the ball home to make it 2-2.
Just over a minute later Guisborough took the lead for the first time when Connor Smith, an inspired substitution by Manager Steve Dowling, latched on to a great pass from Jon Helm to shoot home clinically for 3-2 to the Priorymen.
In the 84th minute, Guisborough stormed into what looked like an unassailable lead with a tremendous second goal from Round who lashed home sublimely just inside the post from about 20 yards out.
But just when it looked like the three points were safely secured, Jarrow swept back into contention in the 87th minute when Fairley completed a superb hat-trick, lifting the ball cleverly over Liversedge.
With only seven minutes left including time added on, the Priorymen endured a nervy ending as first substitute Paul Roddam blocked a shot and then Liversedge managed to superbly smother another goal-bound effort by substitute Paul Chow.
After those two late scares, Guisborough managed to hang on for a memorable 4-3 victory which left their vocal travelling fans delirious.
Despite the obvious delight from Guisborough’s point of view, you had to spare a thought for Jarrow’s terrific winger James Fairley who scored a brilliant hat-trick but still saw his side finish the game empty-handed.
The very hard – earned and ultimately deserved three points further cemented Guisborough’s third placing in the table.
After the game, Guisborough boss ‘Dowlo’ said: “Ultimately this was a very decent result after we had started slowly.
“We grew into the game after conceding a poor early goal and I thought we dominated the first half overall, creating no fewer than ten chances but failing to score.
“In the second half we continued to dominate but conceded another sloppy goal but showed good character to go 4-2 up after Connor Smith’s introduction changed the course of the game.
The manager made right back Jon Helm his Man-of-the-Match and commented: “It was a close call between him and Danny Earl, who was excellent and deserved a goal and also Gary Wood and Chay Liddle who both did well too.”
Photo: Guisborough midfielder Gary Wood in typically determined mood. Picture by Yvonne Barker.