ON Boxing Day, Guisborough Town eased their relegation worries with a thoroughly well-deserved derby win over Stockton Town, with defender Nathan Guru leading the way with brace of goals. Guru, having a spell of work experience with the Priorymen away from his parent club Middlesbrough, put in a match-winning performance with two goals in the first half to set up a 3-2 half-time lead for Guisborough.

In a see-saw first half Guru gave his side the lead after just 10 minutes when he headed home and after Stockton had equalised on 21 minutes Gury restored Guisborough’s lead again in the 28th minute. Guisborough midfielder Mark Robinson scored from the spot in the 39th minute to make it 3-1 but Stockton pulled another goal back on the stroke of half-time to make it 3-2.

Understandably, Guisborough Manager Gary Forster was relieved but absolutely delighted with the win and the performance. and said after the game:, “Although I felt we could have made it a bit more comfortable for ourselves with more composure in front of goal, this undoubtedly was a great result for us. We spoke before the game about the success Stockton have had over the past couple of seasons, yet I can honestly say that not many of their players would get into our team at the minute. I also spoke about we owed ourselves and our supporters a big performance and, more importantly, a good result for sticking with us through what has been a very tough run.

Guisborough Town 1

Newcastle Benfield 2

ON Saturday, a disappointing second half display by Guisborough Town at home to Newcastle Benfield on Saturday saw them fail to capitalise on a promising first half. The Priorymen led 1-0 at the interval thanks to a smart 21st minute finish from striker Mason McNeill, who seized onto a Charlie Marshall shot that flashed across goal and swept it into the roof of the net. McNeill has improved noticeably in recent games and it was important to see him get some reward for his efforts.

It was fast and furious end-to-end play and as Benfield came more into the game Guisborough had to thank full back Anthony Snook for a brilliant tackle to block Benfield marksman Paul Brayson’s path to goal in the 26th minute. Then Guisborough skipper and goalkeeper Jordan Nixon had to be alert to palm away Alex Nisbett’s header just before half-time.

After the interval Benfield came out positively and they deservedly drew level on 61 minutes when Jake Orrell’s cross shot crept home into the far corner. Six minutes later and Guisborough defender Brian Close pulled off a great tackle to keep Brayson at bay. But in the 75th minute Benfield took a 2-1 lead when Brayson, looking offside in seemingly acres of space, drilled the ball home into the empty net as Nixon came rushing out.

Guisborough huffed and puffed but rarely looked like getting back into the game although they came close five minutes from time when left back Joe Ferguson put over a superb cross to the far post and Town defender Nathan Guru made a brilliant attempt to get in a brave header which flashed wide across the goal.

It was a disappointing result for the Priorymen in front of a crowd of 159, particularly after the tremendous boost of the Boxing Day derby win over Stockton. After the game Guisborough Manager Gary Forster was typically candid in his assessment of the game. “To be fair, I think Benfield were the better side overall and in fact proved to be the best team we have played this season and they overran us in the second half. I thought we were really good for 20 minutes or so in the first half but we just couldn’t hold out and maintain that promising start. At times we were a bit naïve and our inexperienced showed at times.”

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