FA Vase Knockout For Battling Priorymen

Guisborough Town 0, Padiham 3 (FA Vase – 1st Round)

Guisborough Town’s hopes of a confidence and morale-boosting cup run were dashed at the KGV Stadium on Saturday when they were knocked out of the FA Vase by Lancashire side Padiham.

The final scoreline slightly flattered the North West Counties Premier League side from near Burnley, but they deserved their victory with an impressive second half performance after a very evenly-balanced first half.

After the game a philosophical Town Manager Steve Dowling commented: “Today’s game was frustrating with us yet again being unable to involve players who were either cup tied, injured or unable to play because of loan deal restrictions – and this left me short of effectively nearly a full team of no fewer than 10 players.

“And as if that wasn’t enough we lost striker Connor Smith with a suspected broken jaw after only 35 minutes – if we didn’t have bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck as the old saying goes,” added Dowlo ruefully.

He continued: “I cannot fault the lads’ commitment as they went about their task but after a good first half performance we were ultimately beaten by the better side. “The plus points for us were the individual performances of goalkeeper James Dawson, my man of the match, and new full back signing from Washington Harrison Scott, who made an excellent debut. I would also like to make a special mention of Tom Bligh, who once again played while not fully fit and enjoyed a fine game.

“We now need to regroup and with no game in midweek we can train and prepare for next Saturday’s vital game against Chester-le-Street and hopefully by then we will have more players available again.”

Even before a ball was kicked against Padiham, Guisborough had to put out yet another makeshift team with five players unavailable due to either loan restrictions or being cup-tied – Hartlepool Academy loanees Kenton Richardson and Josh Hawkes, Dave Onions, Anthony Hume and latest signing from Durham City Adrei Ardulean.

Still on the injury list were Paul Roddam, Matty Pennal, Chris Youldon, Steve Roberts and Jordan Galloway – Guisborough were so short of players in fact that young Roberts was named on the bench to make the numbers up even though he would have been struggled to take the field if called upon.

And now with Connor Smith likely to be out for at least six weeks following the suspected broken jaw he sustained 10 minutes from the end of the first half against Padiham, Guisborough’s unprecedented run of serious injuries has just got even worse.

TREMENDOUS SAVES

The first half of the game against Padiham was very even and competitive, swinging from one end to the other and it was only a series of really top-drawer saves by both goalkeepers – Guisborough’s James Dawson and Padiham’s Michael Donlan – that kept things scoreless by half-time.

Both keepers produced some really tremendous saves – the highlights being a terrific tip over the bar by Dawson at full stretch from a 25-yard pile-driver from Padiham’s Joe Whittington in the ninth minute.

Then two minutes later it was Donlan’s turn to brilliantly save a superb effort from Thibault Charmey. In the 22nd minute Dawson made another fine save this time from Keiron Pickup shot from 25 yards.

Then five minutes later Padiham’s Alexander Murphy’s pinpoint cross found centre forward James Dean completely unmarked but his header was well held by a diving Guisborough keeper Dawson.

On 35 minutes Guisborough striker Connor Smith had to be helped from the field in obvious pain and distress after what looked like an innocent clash on the half-way line and he was taken off to hospital by his parents. It was four minutes before Guisborough were able to catch the attention of the officials to get substitute Paul Blake on the field.

Five minutes before half-time Dean crossed to Pickup whose header flashed just wide. In first half stoppage time Guisborough had a great chance to take the lead when Charmey burst through on the Padiham goal but he scuffed his shot which went tamely straight to keeper Donlan.

After the interval Padiham went on the attack and Guisborough keeper Dawson had to be alert to make a good save from a Whittington shot but in the 50th minute Padiham’s pressure paid off when Pickup scored with a fierce shot from about 20 yards out to put the Lancastrians 1-0 up.

On the hour mark Guisborough had a great chance to equalise when Liam McPhillips put over a superb cross but Charmey’s effort went wide.

Padiham’s gangly centre forward James Dean was causing the Guisborough defence problems and on 59 minutes he almost doubled his side’s lead but his shot went a whisker wide.

DOUBLED THEIR LEAD

In the 71st minute a Charmey effort was pushed just wide of the post by Padiham keeper Donlan but on 79 minutes Padiham doubled their lead when Dawson could only parry a Dean shot into the path of Padiham substitute Aaron Taylor who had the simple task of tapping home.

A minute later Guisborough substitute Paul Blake had a good chance but his shot went straight to Donlan.

Then four minutes from time Padiham made absolutely sure of victory when a brilliant run down the right wing by Mark Coyne and his great cross was turned in at the near post by Dean to make it 3-0.

It was a slightly flattering scoreline for Padiham based on the balance of play over the full 90 minutes but their excellent second half display gave them a deserved victory in the end.

Guisborough have no game in midweek which is probably a relief to Manager Dowling and his bruised and battered squad. Hopefully the break will be welcome and allow some of the players on the injury list time to recover to face what is now a massive game at the KGV next Saturday 29 October (KO 3pm) against fellow strugglers Chester-le-Street.

Guisborough hope to have several injury strugglers back in the frame and also available again will be on-loan players like Kenton Richardson and Josh Hawkes plus Dave Onions and new signing Adrei Ardulean, a highly promising Rumanian signed in midweek from Durham City.

Guisborough Town: Dawson, Scott, McPhillips, Carling, Poole, Wood (sub James Dunn 88 minutes), Cocks (sub Bath 67 mins), Bligh, Smith (sub Paul Blake 39 mins), Charmey, Ferguson.

Attendance: 110.

Photo: Guisborough defender Jamie Poole clears elegantly to relieve the pressure. Pic courtesy of Yvonne Barker.