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Manager Gary Forster said hard work made the difference for Guisborough Town's Development side in the county cup.

By Bill Perfitt

A superb Connor Smith hat-trick helped Guisborough Town Under-23 Development Side clinch a brilliant 4-2 victory over Thornaby Village in the Final of the North Riding FA Sunday County Cup Final at Stokesley on Thursday.

Guisborough’s young warriors fully deserved to clinch a glorious League and Cup double which their proud Manager Gary Forster described as the “culmination of some very hard work over the last four years.”

Guisborough took the lead after just 19 seconds with a goal from Jonny Helm and they held that lead until Thornaby equalised on 37 minutes when Adam Todd crossed into the box for Glen Corkain to head home.

Guisborough Development regained the lead on 50 minutes when Connor Smith raced clear and lobbed Thornaby ‘keeper Paul Hutchinson perfectly from 20 yards out.

There was a double-sending flashpoint in the 58th minute when Guisborough’s Paul Blake and Thornaby’s Todd went in 50-50 for a loose ball and both received the red card. Blake could count himself unfortunate to get his marching orders as he seemed to go in hard but fair.

The game opened up with 10 a side and Thornaby drew level again at 2-2 in the 69th minute when Harrison Davies scored from close range.

With the game seemingly destined for sudden death penalties, Guisborough’s superior fitness finally told and Smith bagged two further goals in injury time to not only seal a superb personal hat-trick but ensured deserved silverware for the Guisborough-23s.

After the game a highly delighted Guisborough U-23 Manager Gary Forster commented: “I am very proud of the team tonight, it was a typically hard, full-blooded cup tie but I think we deserved to win over the 90 minutes.

“This is the culmination of some very hard work by all concerned with this Development team over the past four years.

“When we set the side up we never imagined that in such a relatively short space of time we would have so many of our promising young players stepping up to play in the Guisborough first team but that is exactly what has happened and it is very heartening indeed to see the fruits of our labours.

“Against a very strong Thornaby team tonight we showed a lot of grit and managed to play some very good football at times on a difficult playing surface.

“There were strong performances right through my team tonight and I made Connor Smith my Man of the Match not just for his scoring but his powerful running and all-round excellent contribution to a great team performance,” added Forster.

Photos courtesy of Andy Barker and Guisborough Town Football Club



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