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Guisborough destroyed Durham City to keep up the pressure on the Northern League's top three.

By Bill Perfitt

A ruthlessly brilliant first half display by Guisborough Town in which they literally obliterated a very poor Durham City side enabled the Priorymen to climb further up the table to fourth place.

By the time the interval arrived Guisborough were already 6-0 up, with a hat-trick from in-form Connor Smith and a brace from leading scorer Danny Earl with Jonny Helm completing the scoring.

Durham, to their credit, came out for the second half looking much better organised and determined, but the damage had already been done by the irrepressible Priorymen and only the woodwork on several occasions stopped Guisborough from adding to their already commanding tally.

Guisborough Manager Steve Dowling was clearly and justifiably delighted with the first half performance and said afterwards: “In the first half our passing and movement was excellent with Danny Earl and Conor Smith causing the Durham defence all sorts of problems.

“Our two on-fire strikers were well supported by the wide players, Pete Bulmer and Jonny Helm and it looked as if we could score with every attack we mounted.

“As a result we had six goals to show for our efforts at half time and with the derby against Marske coming up on Monday I was able to introduce Jack Bailey and Paul Blake for the second half to give Paul Roddam and Steve Snaith some well-deserved rest time.

“The second half was never going to live up to the first but we maybe should have scored a few more goals which we deserved. But fair play to Durham who battled hard to the end.

“The game also give me the chance to give young Lewis Brown a run out at just16 years old. The man of the match I went for may seem a strangle one after the five goals Smith and Earl scored between them, but centre back Andy may was outstanding today and full deserved the MoM accolade. There many good performances throughout the team with Jordan Galloway, Pete Bulmer and also young Jack Bailey looked very assured,” added Dowling.

As the game kicked off it was great to see a healthy crowd of 260 – swelled by families and friends of Guisborough’s young junior team footballers who were enjoying their special ‘Youth Day’ occasion – and they were soon to be treated to a veritable goals feast.

Jonny Helm opened the scoring after just five minutes with a 25-yard pile-driver shot and only four minutes later Connor Smith latched on to a great through-ball to slide the ball home beautifully.

Not to be outdone Smith’s strike partner and the club’s leading scorer Danny Earl smashed home a great volley into the net on 13 minutes for 3-0. Then in the 22nd minute Smith got his second goal and Guisborough’s fourth and he gleefully completed his superb hat-trick in the 35th minute for 5-0.

Just one minute later Earl got his second goal to make it 6-0 and amazingly that’s how it finished despite a second half in which Guisborough struck the Durham woodwork several times and, try as he might, the wonderfully talented hard-working Danny Earl just couldn’t quite complete the hat-trick he clearly so desperately wanted!

However, Danny’s latest brace has lifted him to ninth in the all-time Guisborough scoring list with 66 goals and just two more goals will lift him two more places up to seventh place – a fantastic record for someone who hasn’t even quite completed his second full season with the club yet (thanks to John Newton for that gem of a statistic!).

Overall, therefore, this was a very productive afternoon for the hugely impressive Priorymen, and it was great to see so many of the club’s young juniors ‘on parade’ and enjoying a super penalty shoot-out at half time. Hopefully, some of those proud parents will be coming back to the KGV in future years to see their kids playing for the Guisborough first team!

The latest victory extended Town’s unbeaten run to an impressive 10 games and keeps well alive their hopes of a Top 3 finish in the league.


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