A LAST-MINUTE winner from Newcastle Benfield was a cruel outcome for Guisborough to a game in which they more than matched their opponents - but Lady Luck once again deserted the Priorymen.

It was effectively a game of two halves with Benfield having the significant advantage of a strong wind behind them in the first half while Guisborough having the benefit of the elements in the second period.

But after containing Benfield against the wind for almost the whole of the first half, Guisborough agonisingly conceded a goal on the stroke of half-time which had more than a hint of misfortune. Guisborough’s Brian Close attempted to clear the ball but it struck fellow defender Matty Lovatt and then ended up in the back of the Guisborough net! The goal summed up Guisborough’s run of poor luck of late.

But Guisborough, enjoying most of the play in the second half, bounced back on 63 minutes when a long free kick found Danny Earl who headed up for 1-1. From then on Guisborough looked favourites to get a second goal as they continued to dominate the play but alas, with a minute to go up popped Benfield’s veteran striker to score a last-ditch goal to give his side what looked like an unlikely 2-1 victory. There was a strong suspicion of offside in the build up to Brayson’s goal but the prolific former Newcastle United striker – who always seems to score against Guisborough – didn’t disappoint his side yet again as he popped up to turn a cross into the net.

After the game Guisborough manager Gary Forster reflected, “The match was one of those classic ‘game of two halves’ with a strong wind blowing from end to end. We were up against the wind in the first half and with half-time just seconds away I felt we had weathered the storm so to speak and we were looking forward to going in at the interval all square, so to concede a goal right on half-time was a cruel blow. With the wind at our backs for the second half, I honestly felt it was just a question of how many we would score as we dominated the whole of the half. I couldn’t have asked any more of my players, who worked their socks off – we just needed more quality in our delivery and when we were in possession.”

“To be honest I thought all three officials had one of the worst second half performances I’ve ever seen, which was a great shame as I thought the referee was really good in the first half,” added Gary.

With some of yesterday’s games at the foot of the table going against Guisborough, the Priorymen now find themselves just one point above the bottom three and they face some tough away games in the next fortnight. Tomorrow they are on the road once again with a crunch trip to Whickham, who are just four points behind Guisborough but with a game in hand. Then the week after on 16 March the Priorymen couldn’t face a tougher match as they travel to Dunston UTS, who are runaway league leaders at the moment.