GUISBOROUGH Town Manager Gary Forster was highly critical of his side after seeing the Priorymen lose their vital relegation battle against Whickham at the KGV on Saturday.

The 2-3 defeat at the end of an incident-packed game meant Whickham, occupying the third relegation spot, closed the gap on Guisborough from four points to precariously just one.

The game got off to the worst possible start for the Priorymen as Whickham took the lead after just six minutes when Dale Burrell put the visitors ahead. And worse was to follow for the Priorymen after 22 minutes when Guisborough winger Paul Young was given a straight red card for what looked a strong but fair tackle.

However, 10-man Guisborough hit back to equalise in the 35th minute when Mason McNeill was put through by Steve Roberts and coolly slotted home past the Whickham ‘keeper. It stayed level to the half-time interval but after the break Whickham regained the lead when Andrew Belford scored in the 51st minute. Then in the 65th minute it became 10 v 10 when Whickham had Richie Paxton sent off and just seven minutes later Guisborough levelled again when defender Nathan Guru headed home from a corner.

However, the Priorymen were sunk in the 83rd minute when Whickham scored a third and winning goal through Max Cowburn to claim all three precious points in front of a disappointingly low home crowd of just 74.

Town boss Forster had some scathing criticism of his team afterwards. He commented, “We just aren’t good enough at the minute. I was really disappointed to say the least with the outcome of the game against Whickham. Although I thought the referee allowed himself to be swayed at times under pressure from the Whickham players, there are no excuses for our performance overall. We don’t do the ‘ugly’ side of the game well enough. We allow teams to go out and express themselves too much when we should be turning the KGV into a home fortress – but we have too soft an underbelly.

“Some of our players are either not as good as we thought they were or are not trying hard enough,” added the Guisborough boss.

Tomorrow Guisborough are at home to Bishop Auckland kick-off 3pm.