Tag Archives: Guisborough

2016/2017 @NE_NonLeague season review.

I started NE_NonLeague back in November and, despite usually working 6 days a week, I managed to get to numerous games at 17 grounds across the North East of England. And whilst I didn’t do nearly as much writing as I would’ve liked, I’ve got plenty to summarise as the season draws to it’s conclusion.

So here’s my best, and my worst, of the 2016/2017 season:

Best result – Guisborough Town vs Whitley Bay (2-1).

Way back in November, promotion chasing Whitley Bay visited a struggling Guisborough Town side. Separated by 18 places in the league, and with both side’s recent form taken into account, I think a lot of the spectators, as well as myself, were a bit pessimistic of Guisborough’s chances. At this time, Guisborough were managerless, and hadn’t won in their last 13 attempts.

In just the 5th minute, Whitley Bay took the lead after dominating the game’s opening exchanges. But a goal before half time, and a 66th minute winner for Dave Onions, gave Guisborough a shock win. Despite everything being against Guisborough on paper, The Priorymen dug deep and grabbed a great result!

Best value for money – Coxhoe Athletic vs Cleator Moor (0-3).

My visit to Coxhoe was my first ever Wearside League game, so I was unaware of how much entry and any extras would be. To my surprise, entrance was only £3, which you really can’t go wrong with!

So, for this visit, £5.50 got me entrance to the game, a sizeable portion of chips, a hot chocolate, and a 3-0 swing in the away team’s favour. Some places I’ve been to this season were £11 for entrance alone, so Coxhoe was definitely the best place I’ve been this season in terms of value. And the game wasn’t too bad, too!

Worst game – Billingham Synthonia vs Billingham Town (0-0).

The first of a double header for me back on Boxing Day 2016, I was expecting big things from my first Billingham Derby. But it never really happened!

The game finished as a very dull 0-0, with neither team doing anything special to edge the game. And, whilst I wouldn’t want to see any fighting on the pitch, it was nowhere near as feisty as I would’ve expected from two local rivals fighting for promotion.

Best new ground – York City’s Bootham Crescent vs Brackley Town (1-0)(FA Trophy).

Having been to games hosted at Premier League grounds, and games played on fields in Spennymoor, I think I’ve seen a variety of what the North East has to offer. But York City’s Bootham Crescent now holds a special place in my heart, having visited back in February for their FA Trophy Quarter-Final game against Brackley.

Whilst the game left a lot to be desired (a solitary first half Jon Parkin header the difference), the ground continually intrigued me and I loved exploring whenever I could during half time and after the final whistle.

There were numerous places to get food, and their club shop was the most professional I’ve seen in Non League as a whole. If you haven’t been to Bootham Crescent before, I definitely suggest it.

Entrance to watch the future FA Trophy winners was just £8 for this game and I thoroughly enjoyed my day!

Best individual performance – Lewis Wing (Shildon AFC) vs Guisborough Town.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dull game when I’ve travelled over to the KGV, and this game was no exception. The game finished 4-2, and Shildon finished with 10 men, but it was the performance of Shildon’s Lewis Wing that was the talking point for the 140 spectators.

Wing scored the first hattrick I’d seen all season, and I think it’ll take me a while to see a better one anytime soon. Wing’s three exceptional finishes, including a 25 yard screamer that swerved away from Guisborough’s Jordan Nixon at the last second, and his absolute control of the game, left everyone talking about his performance.

To cap off an exceptional season, including 21 more league goals, Wing has signed a contract with Middlesbrough U23s and looks destined for bigger things. At Shildon’s presentation night, Wing picked up ‘Supporters player of the year’, ‘Performance of the season’, ‘Top goal scorer’ and ‘Player’s player of the year’.


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my season with NE_NonLeague, and I hope the page continues to progress in the same direction. as it has done last season. As far as pre-season goes, I’ve seen a lot of exciting fixtures that I’ll be aiming to get to, including Whitby Town hosting AZ Alkmaar. Next season is set to be great and I’ll be there for every step of it!



Guisborough Town vs Shildon AFC – 15/03/2017

Guisborough Town: 1 – Jordan Nixon, 2 – Anthony Snook, 3 – D McAvoy, 4 – Lee Bythway, 5 – Matthew Lovatt, 6 – Jamie Poole, 7 – Steven Roberts, 8 – Ben Hugill, 9 – Anthony Hume, 10 – Connor Smith, 11 – Louis Goldsack, 12 – Thomas Bligh, 13 – James Dawson, 14 – David Onions, 15 – J Baily, 16 – Mason McNeill.

Shildon AFC: 1 – Nick Liversedge, 2 – Jamie Harwood, 3 – Matty Robson, 4 – Daniel Moore, 5 – Danny Parker, 6 – Dan Groves, 7 – Lewis Dodds, 8 – Sam Hodgson, 9 – Michael Rae, 10 – Lewis Wing, 11 – Adam Burnicle, 12 – David Vincent, 14 – Marc Ellison, 15 – Chris Bell, 16 – Paul Connor, 17 – Amar Purewall.

There were a wide variety of games on offer tonight, but Guisborough’s home tie stood out amongst the others. Sitting rock bottom of the Northern League division 1, Guisborough welcomed a Shildon side sitting in the top 3, and looking to close the gap on both Shields’ side whilst stretching their advantage from forth placed Morpeth.

Shildon kicked off the game in front of a bumper crowd of 140. And it was Shildon who kicked off the stronger. In just the 2nd minute, Lewis Dodds did well inside the Guisborough area, and forced the home keeper into a low, left-sided save. Guisborough were being immediately pressured on the ball this early on in the game as Shildon clearly showed their intent to dominate the game with possession.

But, for all their pressure, it was Guisborough who struck first, against the run of play. After some great work on the right hand side from Steven Roberts, Guisborough’s number 7 managed to make himself some space and shoot at Shildon’s Nick Liversedge. Liversedge could only parry his shot towards the feet of Whitby Town loanee Anthony Hume, who sidefooted home from 3 yards to give the home side a shock lead.

Shildon didn’t let their heads go down though, and some great play from Matty Robson and Adam Burnicle continued to force chances for the away side. And, this time, the pressure became productive as Shildon won a penalty in the 18th minute. Stepping up to take the penalty was number 3 Matty Robson, who had continued to look dangerous on the left side. Robson took the penalty, aiming to the keeper’s left, but Guisborough’s Jordan Nixon saved incredibly well, parrying into the top left corner, rebounding out of the goal where the post meets the crossbar. But the rebound luckily fell to the penalty taker, who slotted home from point-blank range to make it 1-1.

This equaliser just spurred on the away side, who didn’t stop the pressure with some very well played, on the floor Football. In the 24th minute, the ball fell to Lewis Wing, who must’ve been 20-25 yards out. Shildon’s number 10 then worked some space and struck exceptionally well with the ball swerving away from Guisborough’s Nixon at the last moment, and nestling in the back of the net. I haven’t seen a ball swerve like that all season, and it was a great way for Shildon to take a well deserved lead.

Both teams started to play some great Football, with the ball being continually switched to either flank by both sides. 35 minutes into the game, and Shildon were still looking the stronger of the teams, not allowing Guisborough any time on the ball. After 10 minutes of very little in terms of clear-cut chances being made, Daniel Moore played the ball across to Shildon’s second goal scorer, Lewis Wing. And, same as his previous goal, Wing put his body behind his shot, and launched it into the top of the goal, leaving Nixon with no chance. Wing getting his second of the game, and putting Shildon two goals clear of Guisborough.

40 minutes in, and four goals so far, there was still one more noticeable moment in the first half. Guisborough’s Steven Roberts, the one diamond in the rough for the home side so far, made a great solo run towards the Shildon goal. Shildon’s Matty Robson got back and fouled the Guisborough attacker, and the referee deemed Robson to be the last man, rather controversially. The referee had gone to converse with his official on our near side, but that was only to query whether the foul took place in the area or not. Despite protests from the Shildon players, the referee showed Robson a straight red four minutes before half time.

As the half time whistle blew, it gave us 15 minutes to reflect on what we’d just seen. Where else can you see four goals and a red card for £6 in one half? We were definitely getting our money’s worth so far, and I could only presume this run of goals would continue into the second half.

Guisborough kicked off the second half, and it was the home team who made the first real chance of it. Roberts, the mastermind behind any of Guisborough’s best chances so far, made another one of his solo runs, forcing Shildon’s Liversedge into a great save before the ball was confidently cleared.

But the 10 men of Shildon were still looking confident on the ball, and it looked only a matter of time before they scored again, or Lewis Wing got his hattrick. And Wing did get his hattrick, in emphatic style, in the 61st minute. Making his way into the area, Wing cut back very smartly, pushing the ball onto his left foot, before side footing into the bottom left corner of the goal, again leaving Nixon with very little chance of making a save. Wing’s hattrick was the first I’ve seen this season, surprisingly, and I don’t think I’ll see better any time soon! It was now 4-1 to the away side, and they looked like they’d run away with it.

Despite occasionally looking down and out, Guisborough did start to come into the game stronger as it progressed, showing glimpses of quality. Some solid defending from the away side, as they’d done all game, restricted the Priorymen to long shots, but this didn’t stop them. Substitute Thomas Bligh picked up the ball 25 yards out, and struck towards goal, where a wicked deflection took the ball past the wrong footed Nick Liversedge, and brought the deficit back to two goals.

The last 15 minutes definitely weren’t as entertaining as the previous 75, with Shildon keeping the ball exceptionally well, frustrating the home side by keeping the ball in the corner, and forcing them into silly mistakes.

So it finished 4-2, and one of the more entertaining games I’ve seen so far this season; it had absolutely everything. It obviously wasn’t the result Guisborough were wanting, but they can be proud that they managed to perform fairly well at times against a team sitting 19 places ahead of them in the league. A great advert for Non League Football, and the Northern League, both sides definitely gave the 140 spectators plenty of talking points.

Newton Aycliffe vs Guisborough Town – 17/12/2016

Newton Aycliffe: 1 – Pentoney, 2 – Marley, 3 – Harrison, 4 – Brown, 5 – Hitton, 6 – James Oliver, 7 – Nicholson, 8 – Trotter, 9 – Boagey, 10 – Owens, 11 – Gray, 12 – Brassel, 14 – Jack Oliver, 15 Mellanby, 16 – Wood, 17 – Wilson.

Guisborough Town: 1 – Dawson, 2 – Bligh, 3 – McAvoy, 4 – Roddam, 5 – McPhillips, 6 – Bythway, 7 – Orritt, 8 – Wood, 9 – Onions, 10 – McNeill, 11 – Blake, 12 – Livingstone, 14 – Roberts, 15 – Scott, 16 – Lovatt, 17 – Goldsack.

Today’s game choice, as determined by a Twitter poll, was Newton Aycliffe at home to Guisborough. Encouraged to go to witness the ‘rebirth’ of Newton Aycliffe following recent events that lead to the dismissal of the previous manager and some of the playing staff, I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I turned up at Moore Lane.

On arrival to the ground, I was greeted with a mince pie, which I absolutely needed, and it went down a treat! I even managed to squeeze in a few chats with some of the club staff and supporters who were all looking forward to what we were hoping would be a cracking game.

Onto kick off, and Newton Aycliffe were in their dark blue home kit. Guisborough were in their purple kit. And it was Guisborough who started the livelier.

In just the second minute, Guisborough’s number 10, Mason McNeill, out battled Aycliffe’s Alan Harrison, getting himself 1 on 1 with the opposing keeper, Pentoney. After taking a few smart touches, McNeill coolly finished under the outrushing goalkeeper to put the away team 1-0 up very early on.

After the opening goal, Aycliffe started to get back into the game. Although Guisborough’s number 8, Gary Wood, continued to show great strength and power to push Guisborough into the attacking third, nothing materialised as Aycliffe managed to stand strong. At this point, the game became very even, with both teams counteracting any moves the other team attempted.

Aycliffe’s first chance fell to their number 7, Nicholson. Managing to use his strength to get round Guisborough’s number 3, Dylan McAvoy, Nicholson tamely shot at the Guisborough goalkeeper, James Dawson, who saved easily. The next chance of the game also fell to Aycliffe, but this time to their number 10 and new captain, Jamie Owens. A great solo run allowed him to get a shot away, although this was also straight at James Dawson, who held the shot at the second attempt.

Following a bit of attacking Aycliffe pressure, Guisborough’s number 5, Liam McPhillips, picked up the ball in his own half. McPhillips played a clever ball over the top to his attacking counterpart, McNeill, who managed to strike the crossbar with a side footed shot after a run past the Aycliffe defence.

In the 27th minute, Ayecliffe’s Jamie Owens again caused Guisborough more problems. After making a darting run leaving the Guisborough midfield standing, Owens cut inside and whistled a shot, from just outside the area, just past the far post. Aycliffe showing a lot more attacking intent at this point and, if it continued, it was only a matter of time before they scored.

And so, in the 30th minute, as Aycliffe sustained their attacking pressure, the ball, again, fell to Jamie Owens. As he had done previously, the Aycliffe captain very smartly cut inside, and beautifully shot with the outside of his boot into the bottom left corner of James Dawson’s goal. Just out of the reach of the goalkeeper, the ball nestled in the back of the net, equalising for the home team. The first goal of the Mellanby / Browne tenure, it definitely meant a lot to the players, staff and supporters alike.

Shortly afterwards, Aycliffe managed to make it 2-1. Aycliffe’s Marley received the ball just on the edge of the area, and brilliantly took a first time shot that looped over James Dawson and into the top right corner. A shot that looked unstoppable, it was jubilantly celebrated by all the Aycliffe players, who’d all managed to capitalise on some great, consistent attacking play.

After the Aycliffe turnaround, Guisborough had slowly started getting back into it, with some smart, passing play. That was until a miscommunication between the two Guisborough defenders, Liam McPhillips and Bythway. An innocent Aycliffe ball over the top was called for by both players, who both went for the ball, and clattered into each other in the process. A break in play followed as McPhillips received treatment for a cut and bleed received when he went for the ball.

Taking advantage of Guisborough’s number 5 not being on the pitch, Aycliffe’s Zak Boagey made a smart run into the area, and managed to get off a shot towards the Guisborough goal. Parried by James Dawson, the ball fell to the Aycliffe number 8, Trotter, who calmly side footed the saved shot into the goal, giving Aycliffe a 3-1 lead just before half time.

At this point, it was very hard to believe that Aycliffe had gone through such a dramatic change in the last week, having appointed a new management duo, and signing 11 new players. The team had taken a commanding lead, and one they didn’t look like they’d let slip in the second half, but did it by playing some very smart Football.

And it was Aycliffe who continued to attack as the second half got underway. It was the main man again, Jamie Owens, who forced the first save of the half. Another solo run, jinking past the defence, forced a simple enough save from James Dawson, who’d definitely been the busier of the two goalkeepers thus far.

Obviously being woken up by the amount of defending they’d done so far, Guisborough started to come to life with long periods of attacking play, but never managing to get any clear cut chances. Aycliffe continued to dig in, and cleared anything that came their way to maintain their two goal advantage.

That was until the 72nd minute. A rather aimless overhead kick / pass was misjudged by the Aycliffe defence and fell kindly to Guisborough substitute, number 14 Steve Roberts, who finished smartly into the bottom right corner, out of the reach of the goalkeeper, Pentoney, making it 3-2 and sparking an exciting end to the game.

In the closing of the game, Guisborough definitely had more of the possession, but Aycliffe continued to have as many bodies back as possible, and created an unbreakable wall to maintain their one goal lead.

Frustrating for the Guisborough players as Aycliffe held the ball whenever they received it, a late tackle from Guisborough’s Dave Onions sparked a mass surrounding of the referee, as his line running colleagues also joined him on the pitch. I didn’t quite see anything after the tackle, but both Dave Onions and the Aycliffe left back were dismissed. In my opinion, it wasn’t a red card offence, but I can’t say what happened when the players surrounded the referee, so the red card offence may have been committed then.

All in all, a great game. Maybe not for the travelling Guisborough supporters, but for everyone connected to Newton Aycliffe FC and the neutrals that’d gone along to see a totally new Newton Aycliffe side.

As always, continued good luck to Guisborough Town, who I continue to keep an eye on and always enjoy watching. And good luck to this new Newton Aycliffe side, who’s ‘rebirth’ has started with a bang!

Guisborough Town vs Whitley Bay

Guisborough Town: Dawson, Roddam (capt), Ferguson, Wood, Bythway, Poole, Orritt, Blake, Onions (sub Bath 73 mins), Youldon, Smith (sub Roberts 59 mins).


Whitley Bay: Flynn, Munro, McDonald, Allen, Keltie, Anderson, Potter, Haley, Robertson, Kemptster, Fryatt, Patton. C, Patton K, Shanks, Moore.


Today I was at the home of Guisborough Town, The King George V Stadium, to watch their league encounter against high flying Whitley Bay. Separated by 18 places in the league, Whitley definitely looked the favourites to bag the three points. Managerless Guisborough, who hadn’t won a game in their last 13 attempts, would seriously have to dig in to get anything out of this.

Definitely not an undercover Whitby Town scout, Jamie Poole and James Dawson were definitely on my list of players to watch. Jamie made a huge difference in the Seasider’s relegation battle last season, sitting right in the centre of defence. Former Hartlepool youth player James Dawson was signed by Whitby after he impressed at an open session at Northfield School in Billingham. A session I managed to get to, he was by far the biggest talent on show, and former Guisborough Manager Chris Hardy wasted no time in snapping him up.

As the game started, both teams showed real attacking intent. In the 2nd minute, great play from Guisborough’s number 11, Connor Smith, forced a courageous block from the Whitley defence. After that came 3 minutes of exceptionally poor attempted through balls from both teams, all easily cleared by the respective defences.

On the 5th minute, a seemingly innocent cross field ball was smartly intercepted by Whitley Bay. The ball fell to their number 10, Alex Kempster, who’s darting run left the Guisborough defence stranded. Kempster then finished smartly under James Dawson to make it 1-0 to the visitors. At this point, Whitley looked a real force to be reckoned with and I was a bit pessimistic about Guisborough’s chances.

Following the goal, Whitley continued to pile on the pressure, forcing a succession of defensive clearances from Guisborough, all resulting in corners that were easily dealt with. James Dawson did take a knock to the head during this little spell, but seemed to be alright after a few minutes.

Whilst Whitley Bay were firmly in the driving seat, they did seem vulnerable to the counter attack. At some points, all 10 of their outfield players were in the Guisborough half, as they tried to capitalise on their dominance. Some composed defending, including some very intelligent play from Whitley’s number 6, Callum Anderson, meant Guisborough’s attack would rarely get a sight of goal.

26 minutes had passed, and Whitley Bay had done everything but score a second. Attack after attack, the Priorymen were kept in the game from some luck, and the bravery of James Dawson, who was throwing himself in the way of everything that came his way. Following a simple save from a tame Whitley shot, the ball was played out smartly, and ended up at the feet of Gary Wood, Guisborough’s number 4. Wood had spotted the run of his darting teammate, Smith, and played through a ball I described at the time as ‘unbelievable’. With his left foot, he perfectly curled a ball through to Smith’s feet, leaving the Whitley defence helpless. Smith was now 1 on 1 with the keeper, Tom Flynn, and managed to finish smartly from the edge of the area, with the ball nestling in the bottom right corner. Definitely against the run of play, you could see the jubilation on the player’s faces.

As Whitley kicked off, they continued as they started, looking defensively sound and a real threat going forward, although few chances were made. Guisborough did get into it after a few minutes, and did manage to finish the half the stronger of the two teams. As the referee blew his whistle, the Whitley Bay players were discussing what’d gone wrong, and the Guisborough players were all congratulating each other on a good first half performance. It seemed an impossible game to call, as I’d discussed with a few of the away supporters, but we were all excited for the second half to begin.

At the beginning of the second half, very little in terms of clear goal scoring opportunities were made. A headed chance for Whitley’s Kempster was cleared off the line, although it seemed to be going wide, but that was it for the first 5 minutes. Guisborough were definitely knocking it round more confidently, having taken motivation from their first half display.

Both teams soon started to get in the rhythm of things. A swift counter attack was brought back by the referee, in the 63rd minute, for a shirt pull from Paul Blake, nephew of former Leeds United player Robbie Blake, resulting in a yellow card. From the resulting freekick, Whitley’s Robertson found himself in a promising position in the Guisborough area, but managed to fall over the ball, watching the ball get cleared as he remained on the floor.

The game became a bit bogged down in midfield after this, with both teams misplacing passes. In the 66th minute, the ball fell to the ever reliable feet of Guisborough’s Gary Wood, who again managed to thread a ball through, this time to Dave Onions. Onions controlled the ball well, and managed to get the ball to the by-line, where he beautifully dummied his marker, leaving him for dead. Onions then cut inside and passed the ball into the net, from a very tight angle, giving Guisborough the lead, and prompting huge celebrations from the players and supporters alike. Dave Onions was substituted later in the game, but kept himself on the touchline in order to talk to his teammates, offering constructive advice and motivation, including a shout of ‘when you save, go down’ to his goalkeeper, James Dawson, who heeded his advice.

Guisborough managed to keep the ball well in the 5 minutes of added time the referee had somehow come up with. Keeping the ball in the corner, it was clear just how much the 3 points meant to the team. As the final whistle sounded, all the players were ecstatic, and rightly so. Such a hard fought game against formidable opposition, the players outdid all expectations I and a few others had, lifting themselves off the bottom of the table, at the expense of Chester-Le-Street.



Good luck to Guisborough for the rest of the season – with a team of passionate players on display, like today, I’m sure the rest of the season will keep progressing in a positive fashion, compared to the forgettable start. And commiserations to Whitley Bay. I think you came to Guisborough at the wrong time, but I’m sure you’ll get yourselves back on track!