Despite a final scoreline which suggests an emphatic victory for Washington over Guisborough at the KGV on Saturday, the result could have been so much different had the Priorymen not suffered from their old failing of not capitalising on their chances.
Right from the kick-off, Guisborough carved out chance after chance but alas every single one of them went begging - prompting one knowledgeable fan in the stand to say “We’d never score in a month of Sundays today!”
And relegation-threatened Washington cashed in on their opponent’s wastefulness to have the game sewn up after rattling in three goals by half-time.
For Guisborough Manager Gary Forster it was a highly frustrating and disappointing afternoon because he had expected so much more from his team - who were playing their first game in a month due to the recent ‘Beast from the East’ weather front.
He commented: “Although it was an unexpected and to a degree an embarrassing result, whilst I don’t like saying this I believe it was just one of those days.
“We created enough chances to win not just one but three games! But having said that we were awful in both boxes at times and a crazy 10 minutes before half time when they scored all three of their goals really cost us.
“During that time we became far too expansive in our approach and got duly punished. But we are still a relatively young side and still a little naïve at times. I also think we fell into the trap of thinking the game was there to be won with the amount of possession and good chances that we created.
“All of that means nothing if you turned turn that into goals,” added Gary.
Whether Guisborough thought all they had to do was take to the field to beat their lowly opponents or their recent lack of match play affected their overall performance is known only to them – in truth it was probably a mixture of both…plus the dreaded affliction of spurning a host of chances.
Washington had given Guisborough an early scare in the very first minute when winger Harry Wood found himself clean through with only Jordan Nixon to beat but he fluffed the chance by shooting into the side netting.
ACROSS FACE OF GOAL
But Guisborough hit back immediately when winger Steve Roberts worked some of his trademark magic by dribbling down the right and putting over the most inviting of crosses diagonally across the face of the goal but no-one was on hand to apply the vital touch.
Then in the third minute Guisborough striker Mason McNeill did well down the left to put over a peach of a cross but it went too far behind his fellow striker Nathan Steel.
In the ninth minute Guisborough midfielder Ben Hugill headed just over the bar when well placed and then two minutes later Hugill linked up well with McNeill who shot just wide of the post.
Then a minute later Roberts surged through the Washington defence but his shot went straight at visiting ‘keeper Craig Williams.
Guisborough’s pressure was relentless and defender Brian Close came up for a home corner and when the ball fell to him his shot again went straight to Williams.
Then Town full-back Bradley Mills joined in the attacking onslaught and got to the Washington by-line with a brilliant run but his attempted cross was smothered by Williams, who was by far the busiest keeper of the two.
Williams’ Guisborough opposite Jordan Nixon was called into action in the 23rd minute when he did well to block a shot by Washington full back Ben Gibbon.
On 28 minutes, Guisborough’s best chance of the game so far was engineered by Hugill who set up Roberts but his rasping shot from just inside the penalty area smashed against the post and bounced clear. That was probably the pivotal moment of the game for the Priorymen – had that gone in the final scoreline would probably have been totally different.
In the 34th minute Guisborough created yet another gilt-edged chance when Roberts linked up superbly with McNeill who crossed superbly for Steel but the big striker sliced his shot disappointingly wide.
As often is the case the Priorymen were left to rue their catalogue of missed chances for within four minutes of Steel’s miss Washington found themselves 2-0 up completely against the run of play.
First a cross from the right found Josh Allan unmarked beyond the far post and he swept the ball home to put Washington 1-0 up on 37 minutes.
And just two minutes later it was 2-0 to Washington when striker Vinny Gash also found himself unmarked and he shot home unchallenged.
Just before Washington’s first goal Guisborough had been given a wake-up call when full back Mills pulled off a great saving tackle on Wood to keep his side level – but the warning sign clearly went unheeded.
With Guisborough shell-shocked and barely able to believe they were two goals down after dominating most of the half, even worse was to come a minute before the interval. The ball ran loose to Kieran Broomfield who from some 30 yards out hit a low curling shot which just evaded the diving Nixon’s grasp to end up in the corner of the net and make it 3-0 to Washington.
The second half proved something of a stalemate with Washington effectively shutting up shop by pulling eight and nine men behind the ball for long periods, although they occasionally threatened on the break.
Guisborough went close on several occasions with Roberts, substitute Joe Morley, Louis Goldsack and McNeill all unlucky not to score - but in truth it was too little too late for the Priorymen, who must have left the field in disbelief at not getting something out of this game.
Despite the loss of what would have been a valuable three points, as the latest league table shows Guisborough are still in 16th place with an eight point cushion over Jarrow Roofing who currently occupy the third relegation spot. Worryingly though, the Roofers have two games in hand over the Priorymen.
A full portfolio of photo's from the game can be found via the following link: Match Photo's | Guisborough Town 0-3 Washington