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Guisborough Town won a seven-goal FA Cup thriller on day one of the new season, this past Saturday. 

By Bill Perfitt

Guisborough Town progressed emphatically to the First Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup with an ultimately convincing 5-2 victory at Liversedge on Saturday, with recent French signing Thibault Charmey scoring two goals -including an absolutely stunning first half strike.

The thrilling victory over Liversedge from the Northern Counties East League Premier Division has earned Guisborough a place in the First Preliminary Round proper against either old rivals Bridlington Town or North West Counties Premier Division side Silsden. Bridlington and Silsden drew 1-1 in their Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday and replay on Tuesday.

Guisborough were due to play Whitley Bay at home in the Northern League on Tuesday, 9 August but this has had to be postponed because the Bay drew their FA Cup game on Saturday against Norton and Stockton Ancients and they replay on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Guisborough will play their FA Cup match against either Bridlington or Silsden at home on Saturday, 20 August which means their scheduled league match that day against Washington will also have to be postponed (please see end of this release for full revised list of Guisborough fixtures for August).

Against Liversedge on Saturday the Priorymen, looking resplendent in their new ‘all purple’ away kit, took an early lead somewhat against the run of play when in the 7th minute Connor Smith beat offside appeals and ran through to calmly slot the ball into the net for 1-0 to Guisborough. Liversedge’s first real notable effort came in the 21st minute when Guisborough lost possession in the corner and when it reached Liversedge striker Joe Walton his shot was pushed around the post by Guisborough keeper Mike Thackeray.

On the half hour a powerful 25 yard strike from Liversedge’s Brandon Kane flew a couple of yards wide, whilst at the other end Jonny Helm dinked a cross over to Smith but it was too high for him to steer the ball downwards and his header flew over the bar. But the home side still looked likely to grab an equalizer and that came in the 42nd minute when they exploited their height advantage from set pieces with a free kick to the far post which the towering Joe Walton headed back across the 6 yard line to the unmarked Vaughan Redford for an easy tap in for 1-1. Undeterred, Guisborough pushed forward in the dying minutes of the half and won a corner which was taken short to Frenchman Thibault Charmey who cleverly flicked the ball up and volleyed it into the top right hand corner for a ‘magnifique’ goal to send his side into the break with an unlikely 2-1 lead.

Guisborough Manager Steve Dowling must have geed up his players at the break because the Priorymen came out and played much better in the second half. And just two minutes after the re-start they increased their lead to 3-1 with some of their trademark flowing passing movements which saw the ball squared in the box to Steven Roberts, who ran in and drove the ball low and hard into the left hand corner. Liversedge responded strongly by lifting their game and looking to pull a goal back and they did exactly that in the 56th minute when another deep cross from the right by Redford saw big Joe Walton rise high and loop his header in past a stranded Thackeray to make it 2-3. Moments later a long range strike from Brandon Kane flew inches over the Guisborough bar.

At the other end, Charmey jinxed his way into the area and dragged the ball back to Peter Bulmer whose side-footed effort was smothered at close range by Liversedge keeper Christian Thewhs. Liam McPhillips then hit a 30-yard effort just wide and with Guisborough once again in the ascendency they were rewarded with their fourth goal in the 71st minute when a lovely short pass to substitute Tom Bligh saw him poke the ball into the far corner of the net for 4-2. Liversedge were now looking tired and Guisborough’s superior fitness started to tell as they were pushing forward in numbers and creating good chances.

In added time, Guisborough’s French midfielder Charmey rounded off an excellent second half performance by the Priorymen with a 93rd minute goal, taking his time to place the ball into the far right hand corner for a final score of 5-2. Even then, with a few seconds left another Guisborough effort was pushed by the Liversedge keeper on to the post and the rebound hit the other post and was finally cleared.

Guisborough Manager Steve Dowling said after the game: “Today we came up a very powerful Liversedge team who knocked us out of our rhythm and stopped us playing our normal game. “I thought we were fortunate to go in at half-time 2-1 up. But we then regrouped for the second half and we scored a well-worked goal after just two minutes and looked a threat every time we went forward after that. “To their credit Liversedge kept pushing us and got a second goal but I thought our fitness saw us through with two late goals and a couple of near misses. I went for Thibault Charmey as man of the match with two excellent finishes and a good all round performance,” added Dowling.

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