GUISBOROUGH Town extended their unbeaten start to 2018 to three games when they registered their third successive draw in a dramatic match at Whitley Bay on Saturday. With time running out it looked like Guisborough’s gallant efforts were going to be all in vain when Whitley Bay snatched a 2-1 lead in the 91st minute with a header from skipper Callum Anderson following a corner.

Just as it seemed all of Guisborough’s efforts were going to prove fruitless, the Priorymen grabbed a 94th minute leveller through winger Steve Roberts whose shot from range took a deflection into the net for 2-2 and another priceless point.

The first half ended in a 0-0 stalemate, thanks largely to a truly wonderful save by Bay ‘keeper Tom Flynn, who foiled a Ben Hugill effort from just a few yards out in the 34th minute. The game really livened up after the interval and Guisborough skipper and ‘keeper Jordan Nixon pulled off a fantastic save in the 48th minute from former KGV player Thibault Charmey.

On 58 minutes Guisborough had a good chance through David Onions – coming out of retirement to help out the Priorymen – but his low shot was saved by Flynn. And eight minutes later Onions had another good chance but he clipped a shot against the outside of the Bay post. But four minutes later Bay took the lead when Kyle Patton volleyed home to make it 1-0 to the home side.

In the 75th minute the Priorymen pulled deservedly level when they won a penalty and striker Nathan Steel stepped up to convert from the spot to make it 1-1. One minute into time added on however, Bay took a 2-1 lead when Anderson headed in from a corner but their joy was short-lived when up popped Roberts to score his dramatic last-gasp equaliser on 94 minutes for a well-earned and deserved point for the Priorymen.

After the game Guisborough Manager Gary Forster commented, “I thought we just edged the game overall against the Bay, but we do need to be more ruthless all over the pitch if we are to move further up the table. Some of our approach work on a difficult playing surface was superb. I thought we were a little unfortunate with one or two refereeing decisions that led to both Bay goals but I would add that apart from these the referee was excellent.”

Gary paid tribute to defender Matthew Crust, saying, “Matthew was my man of the match. We had to adjust our formation to get to grips with Bay after just 15 minutes or so and we redeployed Matthew from defence into midfield and I thought he was superb throughout despite playing in an unfamiliar position.”

The point took on more importance following the news that Guisborough have been deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player recently, leaving the Priorymen just once place above relegation, seven points ahead of Jarrow Roofing - who have three games in hand over Town.