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Norton & Stockton Ancients deserved their 3-1 home win against Guisbrough last night

Last nights Ebac Northern League Division One clash at local derby rivals Norton & Stockton Ancients produced an unexpected and surprise 3-1 win for Norton, who knocked Guisborough out of their usual stride with a lively and determined performance.

Town who were in 4th going into the game faced a 20th placed Norton yet the game didnt show the difference in league positions. 

Norton were dominant throughout most of the game goal-bound shots from Joe Wilson, Adam Cocks and Ryu Williamson all severely tested Nick Liversedge in the Guisborough goal.

In the 40th minute the hugely impressive Norton winger Williamson, who caused the Guisborough defence problems all night, finally beat Liversedge to deservedly put his side 1-0 up.  In truth, Norton could have been two or three goals to the good by half-time.

Within seven minutes of the restart, however, Norton surged into a 3-0 lead with first the unmarked Matthew Lovegreen scoring with a simple close-range tap in from a 50th minute corner and then just two minutes later Stephen Jackson scored with a 20 yard shot that curled beyond the reach of Liversedge.

Guisborough and their strong contingent of travelling fans were shell-shocked at that surprise scoreline, which completely belied Norton’s lowly league standing.

With two-thirds of the game gone, Guisborough at last started to come more into the picture as an attacking force and a slick move in the 70th minute involving Luke Bythway, Kurt Round and Danny Earl ended in the latter shooting over the bar.

Then in the 75th minute Guisborough left back Danny McWilliams put over a great cross which found Earl who connected sweetly with the ball but Norton ‘keeper Michael Thackeray flung himself at the ball and managed to brilliantly block Earl’s goalbound effort.

With three minutes remaining Norton fans questioned Town's keepers handling on the edge of his box which instantly led to a break and the ball broke instantly to Steve Snaith put Bythway clean through and he lashed the ball home to give the Priorymen a small consolation by reducing the arrears to 3-1.  That goal made Bythway Guisborough’s third all-time top scorer on 83 goals, behind David Onions (93 goals) and Mark Davis (341).

Overall, Norton thoroughly deserved their victory and with seven former Darlington players in their squad plus other players with experience with York City and Whitby Town, they certainly appear to have strength and experience in depth.

Guisborough have the opportunity to bounce back from two disappointing defeats on the trot when they entertain an improving Sunderland RCA side at the KGV on Saturday, 10 October (kick-off 3pm).

Returning to the Guisborough squad will be Chay Liddle and Robbie Bettson but unavailable are Steve Snaith (suspension) and Gary Wood.

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