It was a tale of two halves at a cold King George V Ground as Guisborough Town came from a goal down to claim a hard-fought victory against Whickham. WRITES ADAM TONES.
Lee Haldane took charge of Whickham for the first time, with his team dominating most of the match but failing to capitalise on their chances.
Whickham took a deserved lead when Dale Burrell headed home with the last play of the first half but two second-half goals from captain Nick Hood and Shabs Mohammed punished Whickham and claimed all three points for the hosts.
The visitors controlled the first half and reduced the hosts to only half chances with goalkeeper Nathan Harker having little to do.
New signing Clayton Davis should have opened the scoring but his free header at the back post sailed over Will Cowey’s crossbar.
Whickham striker Scott Robson almost had a goal-of-the-season contender after intelligently catching Cowey off his line but his Ronaldinho-esque lob came crashing back off the crossbar.
Robson was amongst the thick of the action and found himself in space inside the Guisborough box seconds later, but Cowey was down quickly to deny the striker.
Jamie Dunn was next to try his luck and almost delivered but his curling effort on the edge of the box was tipped over the crossbar by Cowey.
Whickham continued to search for a breakthrough goal and carved open the Guisborough defence again, but Harry Yoxall could not keep his effort from the edge of the box on target.
The visitors finally broke the deadlock when an unmarked Burrell at the back post headed home a Kaleb Young corner on the stroke of half time.
The home team were much improved in the second half but failed to force Harker into a save in the early stages.
The host’s second-half pressure was finally rewarded after 58 minutes when Hood managed to get the better of his man and head home from a tight angle.
Whickham almost produced an instant response when Robson won a free kick from 20 yards out, but Cowey was well-positioned to save Kaleb Young’s attempt.
Guisborough continued to push forward looking for a winning goal which they got when Mohammed stepped up and curled his free kick into Harker’s bottom left-hand corner.
The home team played the final 10 minutes with 10 men when defender James Frazer brought down a goal-bound Robson to receive his second yellow card of the afternoon.
The visitors were unable to capitalise on the extra man, with Steve Bell’s Guisborough clearing everything Whickham threw at them.
Whickham team | Harker, Davis, Garside, Burrell, Agnew, Dunn (Page 88′), Young (Hall 68′), Richardson, Yoxall, Dibb-Fuller, Robson.
Subs not used | Smith, Below.
Goalscorer | Burrell 45′
Man of the Match | Harry Yoxall