GUISBOROUGH Town finally recorded their milestone 500th Northern League victory when they came from behind to beat Celtic Nation 3-1 at the KGV Stadium on Saturday.
The Priorymen had been waiting for this special moment since last November – mainly due to the large number of match postponements due to the recent bad weather – but when it finally came it was a great feeling for all of the Guisborough players, officials and supporters alike.
Celtic nearly opened the scoring on seven minutes with Priorymen keeper, Daniel Dixon, beaten but the shot bounced back off the post. It was then time for Daniel Lowson in the visitors’ goal to pull off a great save as Austin Johnston’s header looked certain to go in until Lowson got his fingers to it and tipped over the bar. On half an hour though a corner was only half cleared by Guisborough and the ball was collected on the semi-circle outside the area by Dean Douglas, who lobbed Dixon for Celtic to go into the lead 1-0.
At the start of the second half a defensive error left Dixon to make an incredible save and the rebounded shot went over the bar. Guisborough were definitely up against a fit, organised side and had to pull out all the stops if points were to be won. On the hour the weather turned for the worst with snow and sleet pouring down on the KGV but soon after a free kick by Lee Bythway into a crowded Celtic box reached the keeper who could only fumble the ball and Jamie Poole was on hand to stab the ball in at close range.
With the score 1-1, the visitors seemed shocked and Guisborough took advantage of this with some great runs by Mikey Roberts, unlucky not to be fruitful. With quarter of an hour left, the pressure paid off and a powerful shot by Liam McPhillips put the Priorymen 2-1 in the lead. Celtic did try and keep Guisborough in their own half but once the Priorymen managed to escape and break out, every run forward looked like it was going to end in another goal. With the KGV faithful baying for more goals, Luke Bythway obliged in the last ten minutes for Guisborough to win 3-1, their 500th Northern League win since joining the League in 1985.
A delighted Guisborough manager Chris Hardy said: “The first half was a very tight affair with both sides having decent spells of possession, but it was the away side that broke the deadlock to go in a goal ahead.
“The second half saw my side make a go of it from the off and it wasn’t long before the game was levelled through Poole, with further goals to take all three points.
“On reflection, we knew before the off that Celtic Nation had real quality and at times that was very apparent, but today was more about our energy and quality which allowed us to run out worthy winners.”
- The Priorymen celebrate their ruby anniversary this year following their formation in 1973 and have planned a busy programme of events and activities to mark the occasion. On Thursday, February 21 there is a Sportsman’s Dinner in the club’s function suite when the guest speakers are former Newcastle United defender and TV pundit John Beresford, and comedian Lea Roberts. Tickets are £25, available from the clubhouse, or Donald Cowan on 07504-678330.