Guisborough Town 0, York City 0 (Guisborough win 4-3 on penalties) North Riding Senior Cup Quarter Final
Guisborough Town beat a strong York City side 4-3 on penalties to reach the Semi-Finals of the North Riding Senior Cup (NRSC).
It was a glowing testament to the growing maturity and superb skills of Guisborough that they more than held their own against a York side containing no fewer than seven players with league experience as well as three full internationals.
Although it finished a stalemate at 0-0 after 90 minutes, it was a hugely entertaining and full-blooded cup tie with both sides going close to winning the tie outright over 90 minutes.
As per NRSC rules, extra time was waived and it was straight to penalties with Guisborough gaining the early advantage as York missed two of their first three spot-kicks.
With the shoot-out tied at 3-3 but with York only having one penalty attempt left, up stepped Jon Helm for Guisborough who kept his cool to smash his spot-kick home to win the tie for the Priorymen.
Despite there being no goals in open play, the match was played throughout at a very high tempo by both sides with plenty of chances at either end.
It is no exaggeration to say that every single Guisborough player produced an excellent performance. It made it a tough choice for Man-of-the-Match for Manager Steve ‘Dowlo’ Dowling, who plumped for young defender Andrew ‘Rio’ May who had a superb game, looking back to his best form of last season.
The Guisborough defence was resolute throughout and when York did breach it, goalkeeper Nick Liversedge was in unbeatable form with some fine saves. Apart from May team captain, Leon Carling was very commanding and young Jordan Galloway was very impressive throughout along with Danny McWilliams who was a constant attacking threat down the left.
In midfield, new signing from Whitby Ross Gardner looked a tenacious new addition and complemented his team-mate Ste Snaith very well indeed. They even look very similar to each other on the pitch in build and style of play. Both of them – Snaith in particular – produced some tigerish tackling which repeatedly threw York out of their stride.
Jonny Helm and Curt Round worked tirelessly and made numerous strong thrusts forward while up front Danny Earl got through his usual high quota of work and unselfish running while young Connor Smith looked stronger than ever and showed great pace down the left flank.
After the match, Dowlo commented: “It was a tough game against a York team featuring seven players with first team experience – two of them with over 300 senior games and one with over 100 appearances plus three full internationals – so it was always going to be tough.
“We changed formation for this game and I thought it worked well. In the first half, we played some excellent passing football and were unlucky to not get a goal. I thought both teams tried to play good football and York created a few chances but never really bothered our keeper Nick Liversedge, who once again had a very assured game, making a good save with his legs in the second half.
“Every player played his part in this terrific performance and it’s hard to single out individual players when the entire team, including subs Paul Blake and Liam McPhillips, did well.
“But special mention must go to central defender Andrew May, who was excellent throughout and deserved Man of the Match. Leon Carling and Jordan Galloway were not far behind Andrew and there was a strong performance yet again by Ste Snaith.
“As the game went into penalties I was pleased to see Jonny Helm stay calm and slot away the winning spot kick – showing great maturity for a young lad,” added a delighted Dowlo.
Footnote: Special mention must be made of the generosity of York City, who took no fees from the fixture, allowing Guisborough to keep all the receipts from a healthy crowd of 181.
Guisborough Club Chairman Don Cowan commented: “We are very grateful indeed to York who decided to take no match fees at all from the game and this very generous gesture is greatly appreciated by all of us at Guisborough Town.”
Pic by Yvonne Barker.