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Stalemate at Washington as Guisborough rue missed opportunities to take maximum points

A game for which both teams wanted a good result to keep them in touch with the league’s front runners ended in stalemate with neither side able to score.

Even though it was an entertaining enough match, neither ‘keeper really had a significant save to make, with both teams failing at the crucial moments up front. 

Guisborough Manager Chris Hardy was pleased enough with draw, but he reflected afterwards:  “A clean sheet and a hard-earned point gave much to be pleased about. That being said, in another game where the majority of the goalscoring opportunities fell to ourselves there is an air of disappointment that we weren't able to take maximum points on a weekend that saw the majority of teams in and around us drop points. ".

Guisborough started the game with a few positional changes as Luke Bythway took the No 2 shirt and played more at the back than of late with Steve Snaith wearing the No 10, allowing him to play further forward - and these changes appeared to generally suit Guisborough well as they started brightly against a tough and fast-moving Washington team. 

Guisborough came the closest to scoring first in the 10th minute with a header from Andrew ‘Rio’ May which went agonisingly close past Washington’s right hand post. But Washington looked dangerous on the break and their more direct style of longer ball forward allowed their fast wingers, especially Chris Winn who had a superb game, to chase and tease the visitor’s rear-guard.  

In the 17th minute the home side could have taken the lead when a half volley from Mark Davison, which looked on its way into the Guisborough net, but was headed clear by a diving Guisborough Man-of-the-Match Liam McPhillips.  

Then  less than two minutes later another chance once again fell to Washington but Guisborough ‘keeper Nick Liversedge, seeing the ball fall to the feet of John Butler who was literally about to tap the ball into the net, denied Butler superbly at full stretch by scrambling across the ground and with his arm at full stretch he managed to tip the ball away from Butler’s feet before he could finish. 

Guisborough then lifted their play more with some of their usual flowing, passing football and an effort from Luke Bythway at the edge of the area saw his shot fly past the post in the 27th minute.  Then the Priorymen came close again a minute later with a through ball to striker Danny Earl whose shot wasn’t far over the bar. 

With the game developing into end to end play, Washington then got the ball in the net twice within 10 minutes but both efforts were disallowed, one for offside and another for the ball going out of play before being pulled back and slotted home. 

Guisborough started the second half with central defender Leon Carling being replaced by Jon Helm as Carling had sustained a calf injury during the first half.  It wasn’t long before Helm got himself in to the action, attacking the Washington defence and battling for every ball that came his way.  

But with both sides doing plenty in the middle area of the pitch, neither team was able to find a strong finish at the end of each move - and it looked like it would take a mistake to break the deadlock, but that didn’t come.  

Guisborough enjoyed the lion’s share of the latter stages of the game with a cross from Helm to on loan striker, Jordan Jowers. whose header at full stretch dropped just outside the post.

Then five minutes later - following relentless pressure from the visitors - Chay Liddle’s side-foot shot flew just past the post.  And when referee Lucy Oliver brought this game to an end it was clear to both sides and their supporters that although they both look to be teams who will be hard to beat, their finishing in the last third had cost them both the opportunith to take all three points from this game.   

The Guisborough boss gave mid week signing Jordan Galloway his debut as a substitute at Washington.  A centre half, his previous clubs are Durham and Bishop Auckland.


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