Guisborough Town 3, Sunderland Ryhope CW 0; (Northern League – Division One)

Last Wednesday saw an excellent second half performance from Guisborough Town – spearheaded by two-goal super-sub Luke Nixon – which saw the Priorymen reclaim a top ten slot in the league table. Nixon, brother of Town’s former iconic goalkeeper Jordan, is a very talented golfer and he dramatically swung the game in Guisborough’s favour with two second half goals after the match was deadlocked at 0-0 at half-time.

In the first 45 minutes, Ryhope were well on top and surprised Guisborough with their speed and determination of their play – looking more like a top half side rather than one three places below the Priorymen in 14th spot.

Just after that miss Guisborough brought on Luke Nixon – who impressed when he played for the Priorymen in the latter half of last season. And Nixon wasted no time in making a big impact when on 59 minutes he ran on to a great through-ball from midfielder Harry Thompson and slotted the ball home beautifully for 1-0 to Guisborough. Ten minutes later in the 69th minute Nixon lashed the ball home from ten yards out following a superb Steve Roberts free kick out on the right wing to make it 2-0 to the Priorymen.

The goals really settled Guisborough down and visibly boosted their confidence as they looked a completely different side than in the first period, no doubt a half-time pep talk from manager Gary Forster and his assistant manager Dave Onions giving them renewed purpose after the interval. This latest victory was the Priorymen’s fourth league win on the trot during which they have not conceded a single goal, and the winning run has seen them deservedly surge back into the top ten in the table.

After the game Forster said: “This was a fantastic win tonight. Ryhope are a really good Northern League side who have proved that be being the only side to beat league leaders Stockton this season. We had to really stand up and be counted tonight and I feel that this performance was the making of the likes of Mason McNeill and Steve Roberts. They were both fantastic. I also thought this was Mark Robinson’s best game of season so far while our keeper Ryan Catterick is proving just why people believe he is the best goalie in the Northern League.

“The only headache for me after tonight’s performance is that we are close to being full strength for our next game at Whitley Bay on Saturday so I’ve got some tough decisions to make with my team selections,” added Gary. The match attendance was 142.

Whitley Bay 0, Guisborough Town 2; (Northern League – Division One)

Something very special is developing at Guisborough Town, who have now chalked up five league wins on the trot – and amazingly without conceding a single goal in seven and a half hours of football. The rejuvenated Priorymen produced a consummately (semi) professional performance at Whitley Bay on Saturday to propel themselves positively three places up the Northern League table to eighth position.

Guisborough scored a goal just minutes into each half to clinch a totally deserved 2-0 victory in highly challenging, blustery conditions. Every single Guisborough player played their part in this latest emphatic. Apart from the players, much credit for this tremendous turnaround is due to Guisborough manager Gary Forster and his hard-working support team.

Guisborough had got off to the perfect start after only two minutes when a quick-fire raid down the right wing ended with Roberts putting over an inch-perfect cross for Luke Nixon to side-foot home on the volley from about ten yards out. It was a text-book example of how to prise open a defence and score. Players from both sides deserve great credit for trying to play decent football against an almost impossible swirling strong wind in front of a very healthy crowd of 324.

After that early boost of a goal for Guisborough, the rest of the first half was relatively even and there was no further score up to half-time, chiefly due to that great save by Guisborough keeper Ryan Catterick to deny James Fairly with a brilliant diving stop. Once again, he pulled out a crucial top drawer save to deny the home side a way back into the game.

The second half was just five minutes old when Guisborough doubled their lead with a smartly-taken goal by Roberts who swept the ball just inside the home near post after good work by Nixon, who looks like becoming a real asset to this highly promising Guisborough squad. It was Roberts’ 48th goal for Guisborough. For the rest of the second half the Guisborough midfield and defence coped admirably and relatively comfortably with anything the Bay side threw at them.

Forster said: “This was a terrific team performance again. I’m delighted with the players but I would also like to pay tribute to my backroom assistants Dave Onions, Chris Fairless, Greg Booth and Lennie Reid. They put in sheer hard work week in week out and provide the team and myself with tremendous support. For today’s game, we worked hard together to set the team up to play in a certain way and they responded brilliantly.

“When you go five games unbeaten like we have it doesn’t happen on its own.”

Tomorrow Guisborough play Hebburn Town FC at the KGV Stadium and as Hebburn are second in the League, just one point behind the leaders, Stockton Town, this will be a true test of the rejuvenated Priorymen.