Its all in a name! Well, nearly! Luke Bythway, the near namesake of last season's FA Cup giant killers Blyth, scored after just 15 seconds to send Guisborough Town into the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round.
The minute I arrived at the ground, I knew it was going to be lucky in a sense. Arriving just after the last programme had been sold, I was kindly given the content by the gate man, just to staple together myself! How kind!!
Despite the poor weather, there was still a good atmosphere inside, and as time grew near to kick off and the crowd swelled, the atmosphere got better and better. The contingent of young Wakefield Supporters congregated beneath the standing area in one corner, and as the players made their way out onto the KGV Pitch, they began chanting and psyching the lads up for the challenge ahead.
Now, normally the toss of the coin never matters in football. It is not like cricket where you win the toss, make 500, bowl the other team out twice and win. No, winning the toss in football loses you kick off and allows you to change ends. So, Guisborough lost the toss, and kicked off into the rain. They attempted a cross field ball to the left winger, though this was headed to "safety". Out of the blue, a 25 yard effort looped over the outstretched hand of the keeper and rattled the underside of the bar. With the keeper looking on desperately, Luke Bythway ran in to head into the empty nets from 8 yards. The Guisborough fans were ecstatic. Then, the best moment of it all. One hardcore Guisborough Fan, who will remain nameless (you know who you are!!), walks in 5 seconds later!! GUTTED!
As the rain began to come down harder, the balance of the game was even, both teams creating half chances, but every time the ball ended safely in the keepers palms. A few heavy tackles went in, and a few fouls conceded, but nothing troubled either team for the rest of the half. An off-the-ball incident was the only talking point of the first half. Elbow, Fist, Forearm? Or even a kick out, I don't know. Regardless of what it was, it went unpunished by the referee.
Half time arrived, and as usual we had got to the tea hut just before half time. It was time to sample the Mince Pie this time, and again was not disappointed, though the pastry was a touch on the dry side. I can't complain however!!
We took up our spots again in the second half opposite the main stand. The rain was now even heavier, virtually horizontal! We had contemplated going to stand behind a goal, but decided against it.
And then ATG realised people read this blog! A very nice chap came over and began talking, and asked about ATG. It is nice to hear that people do read this blog, and enjoy reading it. It gives us a sense of happiness to know that it is appreciated, especially when people come and tell you, face-to-face. Following the brief discussion about the site, we went on to talk about all things Northern League. Some of the things we discussed were very interesting, such as the Durham City situation, various Northern League Grounds and the new teams in the league. I am thoroughly looking forward to my first visit of the season to Stokesley.
The second half provided no real excitement. Wakefield had most of the possession and chance, winning many corners, but could not turn possession into chances. More mistimed lunges went in, with lack of punishment. More off-the-ball shenanigans went on, and as time went on, things looked less likely to happen for Wakefield. Guisborough had a chance late on to secure the match, with a sweetly struck right foot effort destined for the back of the net, only to be denied by a superb save.
With just minutes left, some Wakefield fans began to head for the gate. And to the delight of the Guisborough and general Northern League Following, the referee blew up for full-time.
A joyous crowd stood by the players changing rooms to cheer the Guisborough Lads off. A nice £1,500 prize money for the club, but most importantly an visit to Kendal in the next round.
Congratulations to Guisborough, and Good Luck on the 12th!!
Sadly, no pictures tonight due to lack of camera!!