Guisborough Town 0, Whitby Town 5 (North Riding Senior Cup – 1st Round)
Guisborough Town crashed out of the North Riding Senior Cup when they were beaten by high-flying rivals Whitby Town at the KGV on Wednesday.
It was tough on a Guisborough side still missing key players through injury and up against a very strong and fast Whitby side who play two leagues above the Priorymen.
And despite the 5-0 score-line the plucky Priorymen certainly didn’t disgrace themselves against a side now very successfully managed by their former manager Chris Hardy.
After the game Guisborough’s hard-working and highly committed young caretaker manager Chris Fairless commented: “Naturally we are disappointed to exit the North Riding Senior Cup competition at this early stage.
“However, we can take some real positives from the game. Whitby are clearly a top side, but for large parts of the game we kept a good shape and a sound defensive organisation.
“The main difference for me tonight was Whitby’s superior finishing ability, with errors on our behalf getting punished ruthlessly. I would have liked to have made changes in the second half but the squad was so threadbare tonight we actually had two goalkeepers named on the bench, alongside two other players who aren’t fit, plus young James Dunn who did well when he came on.
“It has been a very tough week for the club with the changes to the management and playing staff, but I can’t thank the players enough for their effort and support tonight.
“A number of the senior players have stepped up and assisted me in the last few days with the planning and preparation for the Whitby game, and we now have to stick together and move forward as a collective.
“Our sole focus now is on our fight for survival in the league, which starts again a week on Saturday at home to Newcastle Benfield for what will be another vital game for us,” added Chris.
Whitby started the game off strongly, pinning Guisborough in their own half right from the whistle and their pressure was rewarded after only nine minutes when Kyle Fryatt, signed only days earlier from Whitley Bay, found the net from close in. Fryatt had actually played against Whitley Bay only four days earlier against Guisborough at the KGV.
For the next 30 minutes of the half Guisborough gradually clawed themselves back into the game and were starting to cause the Whitby defence some problems when slightly against the run of play Whitby went 2-0 up with a wonder goal just five minutes before half-time when Dale Hopson hit a classy looping shot into the far corner of the net from 12 yards out.
And just three minutes later it was tough on the Priorymen when Whitby went 3-0 up when Fryatt scored his second goal from close in after a great cross from Whitby full-back Connor Smith (no relation to Guisborough’s Connor Smith!).
In the second half Guisborough’s all-action midfielder Sam Orritt nearly pulled a goal back for the Priorymen on 49 minutes but his 25-yard daisy-cutter was well held by Shane Bland in the Whitby goal.
Then cruelly just a minute later Whitby stretched their lead to 4-0 when Dale Hopson scored his second goal.
Just one minute later and never-say-die Guisborough went so close to pulling a goal back when a superb long-range effort from Paul Blake was brilliantly turned for a corner by Bland.
Then Orritt almost crowned another impressive display with a goal when his rasping 53rd minute free kick from 30 yards was well saved by Bland – and all this non-stop exciting action unfolded within 10 minutes of the re-start!
But on the hour mark Whitby dashed any faint hopes Guisborough had when they were awarded a penalty and up stepped Hopson to score from the spot and complete his hat-trick.
It was tough on a Guisborough side who to their credit never gave up battling and were unlucky not to get a consolation goal or two themselves.
Guisborough Town: Dawson, Roddam, McAvoy, Bath, Bythway, Poole, Bligh, Blake, Onions, Orritt, Smith (sub Dunn 62 mins).
Guisborough now have a welcome break until their next game due to their scheduled match against Dunston UTS on Saturday having to be postponed because the Tynesiders have an FA Vase cup tie.
Guisborough’s next game is now therefore at home in the league to Newcastle Benfield on Saturday, 10 December and caretaker manager Chris Fairless is hoping the lull will enable him to get more players fit so that team can regroup and recharge their batteries before renewing their push to climb clear of the relegation zone.
Photo: Guisborough midfielder Tom Bligh (pictured third from left), who was making a welcome return after injury, was chosen as Man-of-the-Match by representatives of Darlington Building Society who kindly sponsored the game.