Consett 4, Guisborough Town 1 (Northern League – Division One)
Guisborough Town’s wretched run of games without a win stretched to nine as they surrendered a 1-0 half-time lead at Consett who rallied strongly after the break to win convincingly by 4-1.
The Priorymen are now firmly rooted to the bottom of the table with defensive frailties once again coming back to haunt them as they slipped to their eighth defeat out of their last nine games – alarmingly they have conceded at least three goals in each of those matches, even the one they drew against West Allotment Celtic which ended 3-3.
The last time Guisborough enjoyed a victory was back in early October when they beat Washington 3-1 at the KGV- but since then they have steadily deteriorated and now, fully six weeks before Christmas, they are already stumbling dangerously towards the relegation trap door.
Granted, Guisborough have been hit by one of their worst injury crises in living memory and it’s not over yet, but the Priorymen are now five points from safety and their loyal and faithful fans are wondering where the next win is coming from.
Guisborough started reasonably well early on against Consett, restricting them to mainly long range efforts. Then Town striker Matty Pennal, himself back from recent injury problems, managed to get the ball in the home net only for a free kick to be awarded for a foul on the Consett ‘keeper Sam Guthrie.
Guisborough were creating good chances of their own and striker Dave Onions almost added to the magnificent 100-goal milestone he reached a week earlier but his shot was well saved by Guthrie.
The Priorymen were finally rewarded two minutes from half-time when Thibault Charmey beat Consett defenders to a great Chis Youldon through ball and Town’s French ace squeezed the ball home beyond the reach of home keeper Guthrie.
The sheer joy and relief of the celebrating Priorymen was obvious and a welcome boost Guisborough sorely needed to go in at half-time in the lead for a rare change.
But, sadly for Guisborough, the Priorymen’s hard-earned 1-0 advantage lasted only three minutes into the second half.
Lewis Teasdale won possession outside the Guisborough penalty area and sent over a perfect cross for Consett’s leading scorer Luke Sullivan to score his 20th goal with a diving header on 48 minutes.
On the hour Consett took a 2-1 lead when Michael Sweet netted his 13th goal of the season following good work by Jordan Nellis.
And just three minutes later Consett surged into a 3-1 lead when Sweet scored again to turn things distinctly sour for the Priorymen following good set-up play once more by Nellis.
On 72 minutes Consett got their fourth goal when skipper Danny Craggs scored his 11th goal of the season to make it 4-1 to the home side.
In the 75th minute Consett were reduced to 10 men when Teasdale was shown a straight red card for a bad tackle on Guisborough full back Harrison Scott.
Despite the faint hope this gave Guisborough, Consett managed to see the game out and retain their 4-1 lead to the final whistle – and even had chances to add to their tally through Craggs and Sullivan.
After the game a disappointed Guisborough Manager Steve Dowling commented: “I thought the first half was quite even and to go in one up gave us something to hold on to and hopefully build on.
“But Consett equalised just minutes into the second half and we then spent most of the rest of the half defending. We then conceded a goal that looked offside then an error resulted in a third goal for Consett and although we battled hard against a good Consett side we failed to make any real inroads.
“The team once again worked hard for little reward but on the positive side there were good performances from Matty Pennal up front and James Dawson in goal but my man of the match was once again right full back Harrison Scott.
“Yet another two more injuries yesterday to Liam McPhillips and Thibault Charmey didn’t help our cause. It was good to have Chris Youldon back but we had to call on two 17-year-olds to go on the bench, which shows our squad is still not back to full strength yet,” added Dowlo.
Guisborough now face two daunting away games in the next seven days when they travel to arch rivals Marske United on Tuesday, 15 November for a Northern League Cup second round tie. Then on Saturday, 19 November Guisborough are away at second-placed South Shields for what promises to be one of the toughest of league encounters for the hard-pressed Priorymen.
Photo: Guisborough’s former Consett man, Chris Youldon, shows a neat turn on the ball to deceive his opponent. Pic courtesy of Yvonne Barker.