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Draw halts mini run of 2 defeats on Saturday

Guisborough Town ended a disappointing mini-run of two successive defeats by earning a point against Sunderland RCA at the KGV – but once again missed chances cost the Priorymen the opportunity to claim all three points.

Overall, this was a much improved performance from Guisborough which left team manager Chris Hardy pleased in one sense to have got a point on the board - but also frustrated to see his side fail to capitalise on numerous chances they created.

After the game he reflected:  “Today's result in many ways felt a bit like a defeat, given the fact we led in the game on two occasions and on the back of that we had enough chances to win two games never mind one - and for these reasons the final result was disappointing.

“That being said, there were positives to take from the game with changes in formation which defensively and offensively seemed to function well and the response following Wednesday night’s defeat at Norton was positive.”

He continued:  “So we now switch our attentions to a busy week ahead with Jarrow at home on Wednesday and Bishop Auckland away on Friday night.  I’m hopeful that the positives achieved in the RCA match will be carried forward into these upcoming fixtures,” added Chardy

Both Guisborough and RCA deserved great credit for treating a healthy KGV crowd of 242 to an entertaining and end-to-end see-saw tussle, with countless chances created at either end, the lion’s share by the Priorymen. Two of the four goals scored were absolute crackers – one memorable strike from either side – but disappointingly Guisborough twice held the lead then allowed RCA to claw their way back into the game with the points ultimately shared in a 2-2 draw.

The main positive for Guisborough and their manager was the amazingly high number of quality chances the Priorymen created – but RCA played their part too and carved out several good oppiortunities of their own. Guisborough, still smarting from their unexpected 3-1 midweek reverse at local rivals Norton & Stockton Ancients, started off brightly with Luke Bythway scoring an absolute corker of a goal in the 7th minute with a great 30 yard shot that beat the RCA ‘keeper and fairly flew into the left corner.

It consolidated Luke ‘the Lionheart’s’ place in Guisborough history as the club’s all-time third top scorer with 84 goals – and he now has the second top scorer record in his sights as he is now only nine goals behind David Onions’ 94-goal tally. The rest of the first half was entertaininly end-to-end with both sides carving out good opportunities.  Guisborough ‘keeper Nick Liversedge had to be alert on more than one occasion to keep out long range efforts from the RCA forwards while Guisborough’s best chance fell to Man-of-the-Match Chay Liddle but he shot just wide when set up nicely by Bythway.

But as has often been the case so far this season, Guisborough were made to pay dearly for their missed chances and six minutes before half time RCA drew level at 1-1 when Steve Callan chested home a cross from the left. Just before the break Guisborough came close to regaining the lead when a rasping 35-yard shot by Jon Helm, impressing in the right back position, was well saved by the RCA ‘keeper.

And as Guisborough came out firing on all cylinders after the break, Helm again went close with a powerful shot from the edge of the area which again was well saved by the RCA ‘keeper. Then the ever-industrious and skilful Liddle crossed the ball but Bythway couldn’t keep the ball down and his strong header went over the bar.  Not to be outdone, Kurt Round tried his luck from range but his left foot shot also cleared the bar.

Then on 67 minutes leading scorer Danny Earl restored Guisborough’s lead with one of his trademark classic ‘goal-poachers’ efforts, deftly turning the ball into the net at the near post after a cross from the left. As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Liversedge twice preserved Guisborough’s lead with smart saves but in the 86th minute he was powerless to prevent RCA’s Joe Melvin scoring with a tremendous 25 yard shot which rocketed into the roof of the net to make the final score 2-2, leaving the Priorymen regretting their missed opportunities once again.

The point gained keeps Guisborough in fourth place in the league table, but they have lost ground on the likes of Shildon and Morpeth above them.

For Wednesnight’s home game against Jarrow Roofing (kick-off 7.45pm) returning to the Guisborough squad are Gary Wood, Connor Smith and Steve Snaith but missing are Liddle and Robbie Bettson.  Peter Bulmer is an injury worry.

On Friday, 16 October Guisborough travel to Bishop Auckland (kick-off 7.45pm) for what will be their fourth game in 10 days.

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