Penrith 0, Guisborough Town 2 (Northern League – Division One)

GUISBOROUGH TOWN extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a convincing 2-0 win at Penrith on Saturday with in-form wingman Steve Roberts reaching a personal milestone of 50 goals for the Priorymen.

This latest impressive victory pushed the Priorymen another place up the Northern League table to sixth position and it was the sixth game out of the eight match unbeaten run that Guisborough haven’t conceded a goal. Apart from a spell midway in the second half when Penrith rattled the Guisborough bar and then the post, this was an almost totally dominant display by the Priorymen.

They got off to a great start in the 19th minute when young midfielder Harry Thompson scored from an absolutely superbly-struck free kick from 20 yards out. He angled the ball beautifully over the Penrith defensive wall into the top left hand corner of the net. It was almost a carbon copy of the beauty he scored in the 1-1 draw in the League Cup at Tow Law Town a week before Christmas last year, a result which incidentally launched Guisborough’s current undefeated run.

Thompson clearly has an eye for this kind of specialised free kick and the quality of the two he has scored against Tow Law and now Penrith would have had Match of the Day pundits positively purring.

Guisborough controlled much of the rest of the first half and a defence superbly-marshalled once again by Josh Rowbotham and Tommy Marron were rarely seriously troubled and the Priorymen went into the interval good value for their 1-0 lead. And Guisborough had the perfect start to the second half when on 49 minutes winger Steve Roberts latched on to a great through ball and steered the ball beautifully past Penrith goalkeeper Luke Miller. It was Roberts’ 50th goal for Guisborough, which have come in 144 games – a good proportion of them as substitute so his goals to games ratio overall is really excellent.

With a two-goal cushion, Guisborough game-managed the rest of the match very professionally. Apart from the two occasions when Penrith twice struck the Guisborough woodwork, there never seemed any real doubt that the Priorymen would go on to win comfortably – and that’s exactly what they did! Once again every single member of the Guisborough team played their part with very good individual performances throughout the side.

After the game, Guisborough manager Gary Forster said: “This was another ‘ugly win’ – but to be honest I am loving it! Last year we were receiving a lot of plaudits about how expansive and attacking we were – but we were not getting enough rewards back in terms of points.

“I think this season we are not far from the finding the right balance between being compact and containing teams but also providing an attacking threat both for the opposition to deal with and our supporters to enjoy watching.”

“In all fairness to Penrith, they provided a different threat to what we have normally come up against, so it was very satisfying to come away with all three points. Penrith is always a very tough place to go to so it was very satisfying watching how well we coped with them. My man of the match was Josh Rowbotham. I thought he was outstanding yet again and is proving me correct in my pre-season thoughts that he is the most complete centre back in the whole of the Northern League”.

The Penrith victory rounded off an extremely busy but very successful day for Gary as on the morning of the Penrith game he had to travel down to Merseyside to take his teenaged daughter Ruby, a highly promising young footballer, to the Everton FC Training Complex where she was representing Middlesbrough Under-14 girls against Everton U14s. The Everton facility was top class and for Middlesbrough to beat a team like Everton 4-1 was an outstanding result.

Tomorrow Guisborough Town play Billingham Town at the KGV Stadium, Guisborough, kick-off 3pm.