Just back from a fantastic day out in the Guisborough sunshine, where the home side clinched promotion back to the Northern League’s top flight by putting eight goals past a makeshift Washington eleven. Credit to the troubled visitors – including manager Dave Smith, making his first league appearance in almost fifteen years as an emergency centre half – whose unstinting efforts were rewarded with a late goal from midfielder John Sherlock. Ex-Horden forward Chris I’Anson scored four times for the home team, although the goal of the game was scored after just two minutes by 19-year-old former Villa trainee Tom Portas. There’s plenty to recommend Guisborough Town: cheap beer, a lovely, well-tended ground, genuinely friendly people and, under the stewardship of manager Chris Hardy, an excellent footballing side. Today, they even managed to tempt the sun out for most of the day.
Thanks to everyone at Guisborough for their hospitality. Incidentally, if you liked Harry Pearson’s ‘The Far Corner’ look out for Mark Cowan’s ‘Far From The Massive Crowds’, an anecdotal account of the team’s promotion year. I’ve read an excerpt and it looks fab.
Elsewhere, Spennymoor’s 2-1 defeat at West Auckland gives Whitley Bay a glimmer of hope in the Division One title race, while Jarrow Roofing’s 1-0 victory at home to Esh Winning means West Allotment Celtic will be relegated if Whitley Bay go up. In Division Two, North Shields slumped to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Hebburn Town (and they were just five of the fifty-four goals scored in the nine Division Two games played today), meaning Marske United, who travel to Northallerton and Gilford Park before next Saturday’s final-day trip to North Shields, remain a solitary point behind the Robins with two games in hand. Will Teeside soon be celebrating a Northern League promotion double?