Team Northumbria 3, Guisborough Town 2 (Ebac Northern League – Division One)
Former Guisborough Town player Andre-Vasile Ardelean – nicknamed ‘Peter Andre’ by his new team-mates at Team Northumbria – was right on song with a double strike as Guisborough’s recent revival struck a sour note.
Eastern European-born Ardelean – who impressed in his brief spell at the KGV last season – hit two second half goals for his side to seal a 3-2 victory despite a late comeback attempt by Guisborough.
After a goalless first half, Northumbria found their rhythm after the interval to spurt into a 3-0 lead within a 15 minute spell. First Ben Dibb-Fuller shot his side in front after good work by his team-mate Lowrie on 48 minutes.
Then 12 minutes later on the hour mark Ardelean – the man with the famous nickname probably because his team-mates can’t pronounce his real name properly, doubled his side’s lead. And within three minutes Ardelean scored his second and his side’s third to put Northumbria into a commanding lead at 3-0.
The second and third goals were poor ones to concede and ultimately proved a body blow to Guisborough, who slipped back down the table to just two points and one place above the relegation zone.
The introduction of three second half Guisborough substitutes – Mason McNeill, Matthew Crust and Ben Hugill – brought about a late improvement with two goals from Steve Roberts on 77 minutes and recent signing Brian Close in the 89th minute, but it was a classic case of just too little too late for the Priorymen.
Guisborough Manager Gary Forster must be as frustrated and confused as anyone in that his squad clearly has the ability and potential to compete with the best in the Northern League – evidenced by holding league leaders Morpeth recently.
But defensive frailties and inconsistencies have let the side down badly on too many occasions and consequently put the team into another relegation dogfight rather than a potential top half spot.
A visibly exasperated Gary commented afterwards: “To be honest, this was a case of three points dropped. We were the better team in the first half and had the best two chances but failed to convert them into goals.
“Second half I thought we defended appallingly badly and conceded from our point of view three very poor goals. Yes we finished well with a change in mentality following the three substitutions I made but at the end of the day it was the loss of what would have been three very valuable goals.
“But we now have a week to regroup and prepare for our next home game against Sunderland RCA next Saturday which will not be an easy task the way we are currently playing,” added Gary ruefully.
Excellent filmed highlights of the match by Ian Rose, including a post-match interview with Guisborough boss Gary Forster, are available via this link or on the official Guisborough Town Twitter site.