"Gutsy" town win 2-1
Guisborough Town came from a goal behind to register an early and potentially vital league ‘double’ over an impressive Consett side at the KGV on Saturday.
After beating the Steelmen 2-1 on their own turf just two weeks ago, the Priorymen must have been confident of completing a relatively comfortable victory over their opponents from County Durham.
But as so often happens in football, Consett were in no mood to surrender in the face of a lively Guisborough side, who made all the early running with Luke Bythway (twice) and Curtis Round coming close to giving their side the lead.
As it was, Consett grew noticeably in confidence as the first half progressed and they unsurprisingly took the lead in the 37th minute when prolific scorer Michael Sweet placed a perfect looping header beyond the reach of Guisborough ‘keeper Nick Liversedge and into the far corner of the net.
It was probably the sharp jolt Guisborough needed and they came out in determined fashion after the interval. However - as in the first half – their shots were either off target or well saved and a series of good crosses seemed to get deflected or cut out by the Consett keeper and his defenders.
But Guisborough finally drew level when they won a corner in the 64th minute and Danny McWilliams delivered a perfect inswinger to the ever-lively Steve Snaith who stooped low to head home - to the great relief of the KGV faithful and team-mates.
Despite losing their slender lead, Consett continued to press Guisborough hard but just couldn’t produced the telling final touch in a succession of threatening attacks on the home goal.
Then with just seven minutes remaining, Guisborough substitute Connor Smith came on and made an immediate impression – as he has done on several occasions already this season – when he latched on to a clever Danny Earl back-heel and bravely lunged at the ball which squirmed agonisingly for Consett under the body of the onrushing visiting ‘keeper Jeffries and into the open net.
Smith’s strike gave Guisborough a hard-fought and hard-earned three points – and gifted one of their staunchest supporters Scott ‘The Bannerman’ Axford - the perfect 45th birthday present!
The win maintained Guisborough’s strong momentum in the league and improved their league placing to an impressive fourth position.
On balance, it was a deserved victory for Guisborough in what was the 50th meeting between these two old rivals, but you had to feel a little for Consett who looked a classy side at times and who battled on right to the end - ultimately no avail however.
Guisborough Manager Chris Hardy made central defender Leon Carling his Man-of-the-Match and said afterwards: “On reflection, we produced an excellent victory today against quality opponents in the form of Consett.
“After a bright and lively first 45 minutes - even though we went into the interval one goal down - there was much to be positive about from our performance to take us confidently into the second period.
“The second 45 saw both sides contest an evenly fought half but a well-worked set play converted by Snaith and a good striker’s goal scored by Smith proved to be just enough to get us over the finishing line and take maximum points.
“I believe that after securing another league victory against Consett today that this will be a feat not many if indeed any Northern league side this season will be able to achieve.
“So for taking all six points home and away against a good Consett side I’d like to express a big ‘Well Done’ to all our players,” added a clearly delighted Chardy.
Guisborough’s next league match is at home to West Allotment on Wednesday, 9 September (kick-off 7.45pm) and in terms of team news the Priorymen will be witout Chay Liddle but returning to the squad will be Robbie Bettson and old KGV favourite Gary Wood who has just re-signed for Guisborough.