GUISBOROUGH Town gained a very creditable draw against neighbours and newly-crowned Northern League champions Marske United when their May Day Bank Holiday derby at the KGV ended all square at 1-1. The game marked the end of a gruelling season for Guisborough highlighted by a superb end-of-season successful run since New Year during which the Priorymen decisively banished any worries of relegation. On their day – including the last two derbies against Marske – Guisborough have demonstrated that they can compete with the best teams in the league with a fair wind behind them and a shorter injury list.

Against Marske on Monday there was a great touch from the Guisborough players who formed a guard of honour to applaud new league champions Marske out on to the pitch in front of a healthy crowd of 345.

After a first half 0-0 stalemate in which the Seasiders missed a penalty which Josh Rowbotham shot wide, Marske took the lead in the 70th minute with a thunderbolt of a shot from Glen Butterworth from 30 yards out. But battling Guisborough hit back with a penalty of their own just two minutes after the Butterworth strike and this time Guisborough midfielder Mark Robinson made no mistake from the spot to make it 1-1.

Guisborough Town Manager Gary Forster and his excellent coaching season can be justifiably proud of what has been achieved over a hugely difficult season and it is to be hoped that they have laid the foundation for real success in the not too distant future. In the end the point earned against Marske on May Day Bank Holiday ensured the Priorymen finished a comfortable 15th place in the league with 52 points from the 42 games played.

The Saturday before, Guisborough travelled to Dunston UTS for their penultimate league match but sadly came away empty-handed. Mark Fitzpatrick scored for Dunston in the 28th minute and this ultimately proved decisive with no further scoring from either side so Dunston ran out narrow 1-0 winners over Guisborough Town.

Looking back over the season Manager Gary Forster reflected, “It has seemed like a very long season at times with all the postponements due to bad weather.At times, though, we have seemed like a strange side with never knowing which ‘Guisborough Town’ would turn up. The injuries we have suffered this year have been virtually unprecedented, just incredible. This was not just in the amount of injuries we have had but the uncanny coincidences of when one player got injured the squad member who would have deputised for the injured man in turn pick up a knock himself.

“We thought we had turned the corner by around the end of November but then we had the worst imaginable December imaginable! Since the turn of the year, though, we have been very solid all through and that has been a very pleasing aspect of our finale to the season,” added Gary.

Meanwhile Guisborough Town expressed a big ‘Thank You’ to all their volunteer helpers and supporters who do so much great work for the club over the season. Guisborough Town’s ‘Rock the Ground’ open air music concert takes place on Saturday, 19 May (2pm until late) at the KGV Stadium, Guisborough with topping the bill the Bryan Adams Experience.