Ashington 3 Town 4
Guisborough’s all-round firepower "too much" for Ashington
Guisborough Manager Chris Hardy praised his side for the ‘firepower in different areas of the park’ that they displayed as the Priorymen won a thrilling game at Ashington by the odd goal in seven.
He said after the game: “Tonight’s result proved to be an excellent three points, as midweek away trips all the way up to Ashington always bring their challenges.
“But again we showed our firepower and the real depth we have to this, with all four of our goals coming from different areas of the park away from our centre forward positions. This is a very positive factor, proving our goals will not be reliant on any one source.
“On the flipside of our performance, however, allowing our opponents back into the game at the times we did and the fashion which we allowed this to happen is an area that we will be looking to improve on as when we are in control of games we need to game manage to a better standard,” added Chardy.
The very well-earned three points lifted Guisborough up from fourth in the Ebac Northern League Division One table to third with games in hand on the two teams immediately above them, Morpeth and Shildon.
Right from kick off against Ashington, Guisborough looked hungry for a win and their appetite was rewarded in the 31st minute when a through ball to Pete Bulmer saw him surge into the area and slot the ball in to the net for a very well deserved lead.
But as can often happen in football, when Ashington restarted Guisborough were still ‘on a high’ after their goal, and the home side played a low ball across the six yard box and the ball was scrambled into the visitors net by Williamson for an instant equaliser just a minute later.
Undeterred, Guisborough continued to pile on the pressure and coupled with their normal flent, flowing football hit the upright which denied them a half time lead.
But after the break, Robbie Bettson came on for the injured Pete Bulmer (groin strain) and proved throughout the second 45 minutes to be a positive addition to the side - winning challenges, creating chances and even hitting the post himself from a good effort.
Guisborough regained their lead in the 50th minute when the superb Curtis Round hit another one of his ‘special’ shots from 25 yards out which flew in to the top corner of the net.
Ashington then pulled back a goal in the 64th minute from a corner which was headed home from close range by Scott for 2-2.
But just like Ashington getting a quick reply to Guisborough’s first goal, this time it was the Priorymen’s turn to do the same, restoring their lead in the 65th minute when a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box saw Danny McWilliams stept up and hit a superb curving shot over the Ashington wall and into the net - a goal which he clearly enjoyed as he raced across to the Guisborough bench to celebrate with substitutes and the managerial team.
Guisborough continued to dominate the game and there were some heavy challenges coming from the home side, but Town then took a deserved two-goal lead when once again a turn of speed from Curtis Round saw him carve up the Ashington rear guard and shoot low and hard into the net. The Ashington keeper got a hand to the ball but couldn’t stop it going in.
Ashington didn’t give up there, believing they could still get something from the game and they hit the post themselves shortly after Round’s goal. And they were rewarded in the 87th minute with what many of Guisborough’s travelling fans thought was a very ‘soft’ penalty which Scott converted to make it 3-4.
A frantic last few minutes saw the home side continue to push forward for an equaliser but Guisborough stood their ground well and ran out the victors despite what became a fairly hostile environment at the end as the home supporters became more and more frustrated.
Guisborough Manager Chris Hardy selected his recently re-signed midfielder and KGV crowd favourite Gary Wood as his Man-of-the-Match.
For Guisborough next game, a very tough away fixture at North Shields on Saturday, 3 October (kick-off 3pm) returning for the Priorymen will be Chay Liddle but there are injuries worries to Pete Bulmer who limped off with a groin problem against Ashington.