Guisborough Town 3, Penrith 1 (Northern League Division One)
A resurgent Guisborough Town considerably enhanced their chances of staying up with a second successive league victory when they emphatically defeated Cumbrian side Penrith 3-1 at the KGV on Saturday.
Overall it was a highly satisfying afternoon for Guisborough and their canny manager Gary Forster especially with nearest relegation rivals Washington losing 1-4 at home to Morpeth.
Despite the thoroughly-deserved three points the Priorymen remain third from bottom but they are now only four behind Washington although the Wearsiders have a game in hand on Guisborough.
But the momentum now seems with the fast-improving Priorymen whose youthful side now seem to be gel-ing together wonderfully well after two wins on the spin.
And what a way to showcase their improving form on Saturday in front of a bumper crowd of 361 – more than three times the usual recent attendance – swelled by proud parents coming to watch their sons and daughters take part in the annual Guisborough Town ‘Juniors Day’ event.
In what was another ‘must-win’ match Guisborough tore into their Cumbrian rivals right from the start with some high-tempo passing and energetic attacking moves.
The Priorymen were creating some superb chances and the only surprise was that it wasn’t until the 33rd minute that the finally went ahead when young starlet Steve Roberts capped a fine run and dribble down the right with a perfectly-judged pass to Dave Onions who made no mistake beating Penrith keeper Eccles.
It was no less than Guisborough deserved for their enterprising and cohesive midfield and forward play, much of it emanating from intelligent distribution from the back with Dylan McAvoy, Anthony Snook and Jamie Poole all prominent along with Lee Bythway and Matty Lovatt.
In the 39th minute Guisborough deservedly doubled their lead when the irrepressible winger Steve Roberts put over a superb cross from the right and Connor Smith leapt at the far post to head home past Eccles to send the Priorymen into the dressing room 2-0 up.
After the interval it was Guisborough who continued to press and in the 57th minute they got just reward when new signing and substitute Jordan Jewson hit a great shot against the post and the hugely impressive Louis Goldsack picked his spot deliberately and perfectly to place the rebound into the top corner and put Guisborough 3-0 up.
Although Penrith never gave up and got a consolation goal in the 82nd minute with a header from a cross by William Paul, a resolute Guisborough saw out time comfortably without ever looking in serious danger.
The precious three points hauled the Priorymen to within four points of safety and, without tempting fate, have the opportunity of staying up within their own grasp.
After the game an absolutely delighted Guisborough Manager Gary Forster reflected: “It was a very good victory I thought we were excellent from start to finish and we are now gaining some serious momentum and with two more massive games coming up hopefully we can continue the great progress we have made recently.”
Gary was very pleased with the overall team performance and chose young left back Dylan McAvoy as his man of the match out of a host of deserving contenders.
He added: “There were quite a few players who did really well – Lee Bythway was outstanding at the back, Jamie Poole was superb in midfield and our two wide players Louis Goldsack and Steve Roberts terrorised the Penrith defence at times. Our two full backs Anthony Snook and Dylan McAvoy played extremely well but on balance I thought Dylan was absolutely superb today and deserved my Man of the Match award,” commented Gary.
He also paid tribute to the club for promoting the youngsters through the ‘Juniors Day’ and added: “They are massively important to the club for the future and it just proves that with many of our young players today having come through the junior ranks. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to nurture and develop these young players,” said Gary.
A special mention too to referee Shane Sugden and his two assistants who controlled the game superbly, notably applying the ‘advantage’ rule to great effect.
Photo: It’s there! Guisborough’s ace marksman Dave Onions (second from right) slots home to give the Priorymen the lead against Penrith after great work by Steve Roberts (out of picture). Pic courtesy of Yvonne Barker.