Sunderland RCA 1, Guisborough Town 0 (Northern League – Division One)

GUISBOROUGH Town manager Steve Bell issued a stark warning to his players following their fourth defeat in their last six matches as the Priorymen were sunk by the only goal in another disappointing display at Sunderland RCA on Saturday.

Following this latest defeat at RCA, the Priorymen have now played nine games since the start of October, losing seven and winning just two, slipping to 15th in the table.

Guisborough certainly created enough chances at RCA to have won the game but once again that familiar failing of missed chances came back to haunt them. Over the course of the match, the Priorymen created a dozen or more chances – several of them in a frantic last ten minutes – but try as they might they just couldn’t convert any of them into goals. Guisborough did have the ball in the net in the 35th minute when striker Adam Preston rose well to score with a looping header, but he was judged marginally offside.

Striker Louis Johnson went close in the third and 21st minutes, with Ben Jackson seeing a goal-bound shot blocked on 23 minutes. Then Adam Preston shot narrowly wide in the 31st minute following good work by Johnson. In the 37th minute, Guisborough defender Nick Hood joined the attack as the Priorymen piled on the pressure but his effort on goal was cleared.

After half-time, it was RCA’s turn to pressurise the Priorymen, and they went close three times in quick succession with the Guisborough ‘keeper saving well from RCA skipper Daniel Hawkins on 49 minutes. Then Guisborough had a let-off in the 55th minute when winger Matty Weirs hit the post with a low, raking shot.

In the 60th minute, RCA scored what was to prove to be the winning goal when substitute Taylor Richardson met a great cross from Simon Jakab out on the right and Richardson’s header nestled into the back of the Guisborough net for 1-0 to the home side.

Guisborough battled on gamely to the end and in the last ten minutes laid siege to the RCA goal and came mightily close to what would have been a deserved equaliser five minutes from time when Bartliff put over an enticing in-swinging corner, but a goal-bound Guisborough effort was cleared off the line.

After the game Bell said: “I told the players that at the moment I have a problem to solve and I’ll solve it in the end either with or without some of them. I also told them that we lost against RCA because of the little things that we weren’t good at. Little but important decisions that good players get right more often than they don’t."