Priorymen ease past strugglers to clinch double!
Guisborough continue to push towards last season's third spot in Northern League Division One after Saturday's away victory.
By Bill Perfitt
Guisborough Town completed an ultimately comfortable league ‘double’ over relegation-threatened Bedlington Terriers to boost their own chances of a top four finish.
In front of a very sparse crowd of around only 50, Bedlington Terriers knew that their Division One survival was the priority and right from kick off they showed a very positive attitude - biting at the heels of the Guisborough’s players, winning most exchanges and going close a several times in the opening minutes.
But the Terriers’ bark proved worse than their bite and they suffered a blow when Guisborough’s first move into their half in the fourth minute saw Town midfielder Peter Bulmer go on a long solo run, beat two defenders and put the visitors into the lead with a lovely shot into the top right hand corner of the net.
To their credit, Bedlington then continued to enjoy the bigger share of play and the dangerous looking Michael Baxter created a number of openings, including a powerful 12th minute angled shot which beat Town ‘keeper Nick Liversedge but went inches past the left hand upright and then a Marc Walton shot also came close.
At the other end, Guisborough began to settle themselves down on an uneven pitch and Bulmer tried his luck with a 25 yard strike which flew just over the bar. However, Guisborough’s lead was doubled in the 34th minute when a cross from the right flew over everyone in the Bedlington box to reach Connor Smith, who from 12 yards out crashed the ball into the back of the net.
The second half was hardly underway when Michael Baxter made a run into the front corner of Guisborough’s penalty area only to go down for what at the time looked a very dubious penalty - but was later confirmed that his ankle was clipped. The penalty was successfully dispatched by Marc Walton to give the few attending Bedlington supporters hope of getting something out of the match.
But with 60 minutes on the clock Guisborough regained their two goal cushion when Andrew ‘Rio’ May set off on a powerful run down the left wing and played the ball inside to Danny Earl, who returned back for ‘Rio’ to deliver a lovely ball across the box to Connor Smith, who gratefully shot into the net for his second goal and Guisborough’s third.
Minutes later Earl had a decent run forward and shot just wide and 10 minutes later he did a similar thing only for that shot to also go inches wide of the left hand post. Guisborough continued to look the stronger and faster team in the second half and another Bulmer effort went just over the bar.
At the final whistle Guisborough were deserved winners and the result only further added to Bedlington’s Division survival hopes which now look bleak. Conversely, although Guisborough stayed in sixth place with games in hand on teams immediately above them they have a realistic chance of what would be a superb top-four finish.
Guisborough Manager, Steve Dowling said: “Today was always going to be tough against a team fighting to stay in Division One. I thought that after Peter Bulmer scored an excellent early solo goal we were sloppy in possession and gave the ball away too much for the next 10 minutes.
“After that however I thought we played some excellent football with Chay Liddle enjoying an excellent game. We then got a second goal from a good move and finish from Connor Smith.
“In the second half we started sloppily and conceded a soft penalty which Walton put away and after that Bedlington had a good spell of the play but no clear-cut chances for their efforts.
“We then broke again for Connor Smith to score again to help us see the game out. I went with Chay Liddle as my man of the match but thought Peter Bulmer and Paul Rodham both ran Chay close,” added a delighted Dowling.
Guisborough’s next game is away in the League against Durham City on Tuesday, 12 April. Meanwhile, just a reminder that the venue for the two upcoming derby games against Marske United have been switched – so now the Priorymen will be at home to the Seasiders on Saturday, 16 April and Guisborough will travel to Marske on May Day Bank Holiday Monday, 2 May (please note early 11am kick-off).