“SQUEEZE, squeeze, squeeze!” was the instruction repeatedly barked from the dugout by Guisborough’s caretaker manager Steve Dowling to his players in their FA Vase First Round tie at the KGV against Runcorn on Saturday. And the pre-agreed deliberate tactic of closing down their Merseyside opponents and denying them any breathing space worked a treat for the Priorymen.

Guisborough came out of the blocks quickly and winger Mason McNeill in particular was in great form, firing in two fierce volleys in the first ten minutes which came close to opening the scoring for the Priorymen.

Runcorn’s first real threat came in the 28th minute but their free kick was well held by Guisborough 'keeper Jaan Yaqub. Guisborough’s enterprising play was finally rewarded in the 35th minute when they won a free kick just outside the Runcorn penalty area and up stepped Joe Ferguson to curl a 20-yard beauty around the visitors’ wall and into the far left corner of the net for 1-0 to the Priorymen. It was no less than Guisborough deserved for their non-stop running and pressing which seemed to knock Runcorn out of their stride.

But Runcorn did threaten the Guisborough goal briefly in the 37th minute but Guisborough ‘keeper Yaqub pulled off a terrific doubled save when he brilliantly pushed away a Runcorn cross-shot and from the resultant corner he made another splendid block to keep the ball out.

In the second minute of time added on in the first half Guisborough deservedly doubled their lead when they surged forward on the Runcorn goal. Shawn Spozio’s shot cannoned back off a post but in rushed Matty Garbutt to hammer home the rebound.

The second half saw Runcorn come a little more into the game but Guisborough held firm and restricted their opponents to very few real chances. Final score, Guisborough 2 Runcorn 0.

At the final whistle a delighted Dowling said: “We spoke before the game about squeezing them from the outset and giving them no space at all to work with and I think that worked well for us. The entire team worked very hard today and stuck to our plan, with everyone giving 100 per cent and they deserved their success on the day.”

Guisborough Chairman Don Cowan added: “I am delighted for Steve and the team today. He is a very good friend of Guisborough Town and it was typical of him that he immediately offered to help us in our hour of need. We have some great friends here at this club and in turn we always look after our friends.”

The attendance was a very healthy 191.

  • Guisborough has agreed a new partnership with Teesside-based company MB DIY to support the development of the club’s under-18 team. The company is providing substantial financial support and valuable in-kind help over the next two years at least to provide a major boost to Guisborough’s under-18s. MB DIY will be funding the purchase of home kits, away kits and rain jackets for the under 18s, who play in the Durham FA Saturday League. In addition, MB DIY will be providing advice and assistance on marketing and branding. Chris Wood, head of Guisborough Town FC juniors and under-18s manager said: “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted that the club is going to be working in partnership with MB DIY over the next two years.”