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Guisborough Town bounced back from a first home league defeat of the season as their Development side made the final of the North Riding Under-23 Cup.

By Bill Perfitt

Guisborough Town’s Under-23 Development side continue to go from strength to strength. They clinched the Durham FA U-23 League title with a superb 2-1 victory at West Auckland and they followed that up in fine style on Sunday by winning through to the final of the North Riding FA U-23 Cup in their very own ‘Battle of Trafalgar’!

For Guisborough’s young braves trounced highly fancied Scarborough side Trafalgar - who won the Cup last season with a 7-0 victory, so the young Priorymen’s convincing win against the holders was that much more remarkable given Trafalgar’s past pedigree.

It was a tremendous result against West Auckland who had a number of players with Northern league experience. Guisborough’s goals were scored by Ged Livingstone and Connor Smith. Man of the match for Guisborough was the industrious Taylor Crainey

A proud and delighted U-23 team manager Gary Forster commented: “It’s been a superb season in terms of bringing through our next batch of promising young players. 

“Obviously when we started the side a few seasons ago we realised we had a special set of lads with the likes of Bland, May, Mills, Halliday and Round. 

“But to grow the Development Side like we have so rapidly and be able to attract young players that we were previously unaware off is a fantastic achievement and great endorsement for the club. 

“Young players now see Guisborough as the place to go to continue to develop their playing careers in a good environment.  This is down to the fantastic work of everyone at the club from Steve Dowling and Dave Markham through to the sometimes forgotten volunteers who constantly promote the club in a number of ways.

“While the objective of the side is clear in terms of the development of the young talent – with actually winning some way down the list of priorities – it is great to see these young lads getting some reward for their commitment and keenness to improve.

“Hopefully the likes of young Snook, Baily, Lovatt, Blake, Roberts, Smith and Crainey can progress further and play a part in the club’s future successes as players like Curt Round and Andrew May have done,” added Forster.

Against Trafalgar today Guisborough U-23’s started off in great style, sprinting into a commanding 3-0 lead by half-time with goals from Matty Crust (9 mins), Connor Smith (26 mins) and Ged Livingstone (35 mins).

Just before half-time both sides were reduced to 10 men after a scuffle involving several players resulted in Crust and the Trafalgar centre forward being shown red cards. And just two minutes into the second half Trafalgar were down to nine men when the Trafalgar full-back was red carded for pulling down Anthony Snook when the Guisborough man was through on goal.

On the hour Trafalgar surprisingly pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 but further goals from Steven Roberts (75 mins), Jack Bailey (85 mins) and substitute Jonny Helm (added time) sealed a thoroughly deserved 6-1 victory for the Guisborough starlets.

Pictures courtesy of Yvonne Barker and Guisborough Town Football Club.


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