Guisborough Town 2, Whitley Bay 1 (Northern League – Division One)
Two fantastic first half goals within the space of four minutes earned Guisborough Town a hugely welcome 2-1 victory over Whitley Bay at the KGV Stadium on Wednesday and lifted them three places up the table and away from the relegation zone.
It was a much-improved display overall by the Priorymen, particularly in defence where they looked much more solid than of late and the addition of Brian Close to the back line instead of midfield certainly worked very well.
As the game swung from end to end Guisborough took the lead on 36 minutes when Lewis Maloney and Louis Goldsack combined well in the build up to send leading scorer Steve Roberts away and he jinked his way into the box and cleverly poked the ball home under Bay keeper Callum Harley to make it 1-0.
And just four minutes later Guisborough right back Bradley Mills doubled the lead to 2-0 when he showed a lightning burst of speed down to the right wing, cut in and fire home superbly.
It was no more than Guisborough deserved and the confidence flowed visibly through the side after the goals.
The second half was something of a backs-to-the-wall affair for the Priorymen but they still managed to be a potent threat up front and a Goldsack shot was saved at the near post by Harley and then a Roberts free kick was well saved again by Harley on 65 minutes.
But the Bay pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute when Guisborough goalkeeper Jordan Nixon could only parry a shot into the path of Alex Kempster who scored from the rebound to make it 2-1.
Guisborough refused to panic as in previous matches and actually were unlucky not to increase their lead when midfielder Maloney almost capped a fine display with a goal but his rasping free kick from just outside the penalty area cannoned off the far post and was cleared to safety.
Bay went in search of an equaliser but the Guisborough defence remained resolute to the final whistle and the relief around the KGV at three points very well earned was palpable.