Guisborough Town 6, Newton Aycliffe 2 (Northern League Division One)
Guisborough Town thrashed Newton Aycliffe 6-2 at the KGV on Wednesday to climb two places back up the Northern League Division One table to fifth position.
It was sweet revenge for the Priorymen over Aycliffe who had beaten Guisborough 2-0 in February after a game with some rather unsavory undertones.
At the final whistle, there was rich praise for Guisborough from an unlikely source as a couple of long-standing Aycliffe supporters described the Priorymen’s performance as akin to playing “like the Barcelona of the Northern League who out-passed and ultimately out-classed the visitors for almost the whole game.”
Likening Guisborough to Barcelona may have been a slight exaggeration but after a game in which Town’s Manager Stephen Dowling conceded that his team struggled at times to hit top form, the Priorymen eventually ran out convincing winners over their County Durham rivals.
A satisfied Dowlo commented afterwards: “Tonight I thought we never really hit top form which is hard to say after a 6-2 win against a strong Aycliffe side.
“That said, however, some of the goals we scored were superbly-worked team goals, albeit the first being an own goal following some good approach play by ourselves.
But then we conceded a sloppy penalty equaliser when we never reacted to a quick throw in.
“From then on, however, we dominated the game, scoring three more good team goals to take a comfortable 4-1 lead into the interval. In the second half we scored early but Aycliffe responded with an excellent strike from Campbell, who was a threat all night. “The game was end to end after that and a couple of good saves from Nick Liversedge kept us in a comfortable lead and eventually a good goal from Pete Bulmer saw us home.
“Overall this was a good team performance by ourselves and I went for Jonny Helm as my man of the match but every single player made a good contribution to the victory and I thought Pete Bulmer, Ste Snaith, Danny Earl, Curtis Round and Andy May all ran Jonny close,” added Dowlo.
Guisborough took an early lead in the 7th minute through an own goal, when a ball into the six yard box was chested back by Daniel Mitton only for the unfortunate defender to see Aycliffe keeper James Winter coming out to gather the ball which frustratingly went past him and into the empty net.
But the visitors’ misfortune was short-lived when three minutes later at the other end striker Matty Moffat’s heel was caught in the area by Town’s Leon Carling and referee Dean Hulme pointed to the penalty spot. John Campbell levelled the score but Moffat’s ankle injury saw him limp off later in the half to be replaced by Zak Boagey.
After the penalty both teams failed to create many opportunities for the next 20 minutes although Guisborough were playing their normal style of flowing football. Then in the 34th minute, they regained the lead with a lovely outside of the foot chipped shot over keeper Winter by Town’s Danny Earl.
And three minutes later the home side’s lead was further increased when Winter was again beaten by a 25 yard lovely finish from Connor Smith whose shot found the top corner of the net.
Guisborough’s command on the game was causing the Aycliffe defence all kinds of trouble and the home side were further rewarded with a fourth goal in added time at the end of the half when another passing move ended with a pinpoint cross to Curtis Round, whose header from eight yards out rounded off an impressive half for the Priorymen.
Guisborough continued where they left off after the break by increasing their lead further through a fifth goal in the 48th minute from a long ball which was not dealt with by the struggling Aycliffe rear guard which allowed Connor Smith to burst through and slide his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
But before anyone could pause for breath, the visitors pulled a superb goal back with a 30 yard long shot from Campbell which flew over the outstretched arm of Guisborough keeper Nick Liversedge for 5-2.
However, it was clear that the home side were really enjoying themselves and shortly after Aycliffe’s second goal Danny Earl chipped a ball over Winter, only to see it run inches wide of the right-hand post. Aycliffe did push forward more but failed to capitalize on any chances they created from Campbell, Boagey and a Jordan Laidler 30 yard powerful strike which saw Liversedge in full flight tip the ball onto the bar in the 81st minute.
Guisborough’s domination of the game was underlined four minutes later when the outstanding Pete Bulmer collected the ball on the edge of the visitor’s area, jinxed inside past two players and beautifully placed his angled, curving shot into the roof of the net. Moments later he could have grabbed another goal when his stinging shot brought a good save from keeper Winter.