GUISBOROUGH Town could and certainly should have taken at least a point from their league match against Ryhope CW at the KGV Stadium on Saturday.

Alas, their old failing of not converting chances into goals was once again in evidence and so a great opportunity to pull further away from the relegation zone was lost.

Ryhope took an early lead in the 12th minute but the Priorymen rallied and scored a deserved if scrappy equaliser on the half hour mark. Against Ryhope on Saturday, in front of a KGV crowd of 135, Guisborough started brightly but found themselves behind after 12 minutes when a great through ball found Ryhope striker Jack Devlin out on the left and he raced clear to plant the ball into the net from an acute angle. Three minutes later Devlin almost doubled his side’s lead but his shot was deflected just wide of the post for a corner by the outstretched foot of Guisborough goalkeeper Jordan Nixon.

Guisborough rallied and enjoyed the majority of possession for a period but once again chances went begging as Mason McNeill shot wide and a Mark Robinson free kick got through the wall but went straight to Ryhope ‘keeper Joe Atkinson. Then in the 29th minute a superb Guisborough move involving Dylan McAvoy, making a welcome return from long-term injury, McNeill and Steve Roberts ended with the latter having his shot saved. Then a shot by McNeill was deflected for a corner.

And from the resultant corner 30th minute corner kick, a frantic scramble in the Ryhope penalty area ended in Lee Bythway poking the ball home from close range and Guisborough were finally back on terms, deserved reward for all their concerted pressure. Guisborough finished the half strongly but a Roberts shot whistled just wide and a Close header went narrowly wide too.

In the second half the match continued to swing from end to end as both sides went all out for their second goal. The best chance of the half fell to Guisborough just after the hour mark when Guisborough front man Danny Earl created a glorious chance for McNeill but he shot over the bar when superbly-placed centrally just 10 yards out. Ryhope had a fortunate escape on 73 minutes when their goal-scorer Devlin was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a dreadful challenge on Guisborough full back Brad Mills. But seven minutes later Ryhope went 2-1 up when Guisborough keeper Nixon couldn’t hold on to a Mathew Weirs shot and the loose ball went to his brother Jon Weirs who made no mistake with the goal at his mercy.

Guisborough came desperately close to equalising in the 89th minute when there was another almighty scramble in the Ryhope penalty area but as the ball bobbled about among a melee of players Ryhope ‘keeper Joe Atkinson saved the day for his side by pouncing on a loose ball. Ultimately, another disappointing result was scant reward for Guisborough’s efforts which deserved at least a draw but a combination of bad luck and missed chances was their undoing yet again.

After the game, a disappointed manager, Gary Forster said, “Overall, I thought our downfall was being too wasteful when in good areas. I thought we should have been out of sight in the first 45 minutes when we dominated for long periods but squandered good opportunities and that was also the case in the second half. Ultimately, we got what we deserved when they took their chances and we didn’t. That second goal Ryhope scored knocked the stuffing out of us in the end.

“In terms of individual performances, I thought Brad Mills was excellent, but he has to do better and not allow wingers to get in behind him and in front of goal. I also thought our ‘keeper Jordan Nixon should have done better in dealing with the loose ball after parry, which led to their winning goal.”

“So a very frustrating day with a performance over the 90 minutes that summed up our season overall. Sloppy defensively and wasteful in good areas in the attacking third,” added Gary.

The 2-1 defeat leaves Guisborough just above the relegation zone, with teams around them having closed the gap on the Priorymen with some unexpected wins recently. So, with some tough upcoming fixtures against strong sides like Dunston, Newcastle Benfield and West Auckland, Guisborough will have their work cut out to stay above the bottom three relegation zone.

Guisborough’s next game is tomorrow at Newcastle Benfield kick-off 3pm.