Guisborough Town 0, Whitby Town 4 (Micky Skinner Memorial Cup)

GUISBOROUGH manager Gary Forster lamented his side’s lack of sharpness in front of goal as the Priorymen finally succumbed to a four-goal defeat by a ten-man Whitby side at the KGV Stadium last week. Whitby scored two goals in each half despite being reduced to ten men just before half-time when James Martin was red-carded for a foul on Guisborough full back Callum Martin.

Guisborough battled in vain right to the end in what was an entertaining and full-blooded match, which proved an excellent workout for both teams on a rain-swept night at the KGV.

Forster was pleased his side had got another 90 minutes of highly competitive match-play under their belts and rightly felt that they had been the better side in the opening half an hour.

“Overall it was another good workout for the squad and I thought we were the better side in the first 30 minutes or so," he said.

"We had four or five good chances yet never really seriously tested their ‘keeper. We’ve got to be much sharper in front of goal otherwise we’ll struggle to win games and that’s something I’ll be emphasising to my players.”

The eagerly-anticipated annual Micky Skinner Memorial match against Whitby was watched by an all-ticket crowd of 150 – the maximum crowd Guisborough were permitted to have under an agreement between the FA and the UK Government for the phased and limited return of spectators at non-league football matches.

On Saturday, Guisborough drew 2-2 with Billingham Synthonia in the last of their pre-season friendlies.

In wet and windy conditions, both sides had a slow start to the game, but it was Synthonia who broke the deadlock on 22 minutes with a cross from the right wing finding a man at the back post who struck home from close range.

The Priorymen kept at it, and on 40 minutes a well-struck free kick from midfielder Harry Thompson drew a smart save from the Synthonia goalkeeper. After a rallying half time team talk from manager Forster, Guisborough came out for the second half a reinvigorated side, and they were rewarded for their hunger in the 56th minute when Sonni Coleman was taken down in the box and won a penalty. He stepped up to take it and placed it low into the left corner of the Synthonia net to make it 1-1.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Guisborough attacker Sonni Coleman controls the ball despite close attention from a Billingham defender

Guisborough wasted no time in grabbing a second goal, when, just a minute later, Chris Stockton curled one into the top left of the Synthonia goal to make the score 2-1. Synthonia responded ten minutes later with an equaliser to level the scores once more.

Forster said: “The game was a good workout for the lads. Synthonia are a good outfit, and we needed as tough a game as possible, and that’s exactly what we got. We are still a little undercooked for my liking, but I am sure as the season goes on, we will develop into a top team this season.”