Guisborough Town are giving their full support to the North Riding Football Association’s backing for the major national FA ‘Kick It Out’ anti-racism campaign.
The Priorymen entertain Ebac Division One rivals Whitley Bay at the KGV Stadium on Saturday, 20 October (kick-off 3pm) and are expecting a big crowd, including many of their Junior Section young footballers between the ages of seven to 13.
Prior to kick-off, six of the Guisborough Juniors will be selected to act as flag-bearers for the special ‘One Game, One Community’ banner being provided by the FA. Then a further 12 junior players will also form a Guard of Honour as the Guisborough and Whitley Bay players take the field.
Many of the juniors will be wearing special ‘Kick Racism out of Football’ tea shirts as well as their Guisborough Town tracksuits and hooded tops.
Hundreds of anti-racism campaign stickers will be available to hand out to spectators to help reinforce the campaign message and the captains of the respective teams will wear special ‘Unite against Racism’ armbands during the game. After the match there will be a Halloween party for the junior section players.
The Guisborough Town involvement on Saturday is part of a number of activities being strongly promoted by the North Riding FA between 18-29 October and the organisation will also be working with Thornaby FC on 27 October to drive home further the FA’s anti-racism message.
Guisborough Town FC Chairman Stephen Hill commented: “We are very keen and delighted to support the North Riding FA’s contribution to the national FA’s anti-racism campaign and are very pleased that we have been selected to help spearhead the initiative for the North Riding at our match against Whitley Bay on Saturday, October 20. Whitley Bay are a very good club in every respect and usually bring a large following, so we hope that with the added attraction of our Junior section players taking part in the pre-match activities that we will get a bumper attendance for the game.
“As a club, Guisborough Town already strongly support the FA’s ‘Kick It Out’ campaign with regular PA announcements at our home games and a permanent ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ promotional message on the front of all our home programmes, so the additional initiatives on match-day this coming Saturday are totally consistent with our approach to this important subject.
“By involving as many of our junior players as possible, we hope this will give added impact and impetus to the anti-racism theme among people of all ages,” added Stephen.
Keith Smeltzer Guisborough Town’s Secretary, commented: “Football is a game that anyone can enjoy regardless of race, sex or belief. By holding our own “Kick it Out” event, Guisborough people have the opportunity to highlight the football club’s community spirit as well as enjoying a great day out with family and friends.”
Meanwhile, Guisborough will be looking to further consolidate their top-ten place in the league when they take on Whitley Bay, who currently comfortably occupy a top-six place.
The Priorymen had another tough game at keen local rivals Billingham Synthonia on Wednesday, who stood four points and seven places above Guisborough in the league before the start of the game in fourth place. But the Priorymen narrowed that gap significantly with a hard-fought and deserved 2-0 victory to climb to eighth place – just one point behind Synthonia but with a massive six games in hand!
After a very even and end-to-end first half in which both sides hit the bar, Guisborough took the lead two minutes into the second half with a Liam McPhillips penalty and a typically determined man-of-the-match Austin Johnston made it 2-0 on the hour with a low shot just inside the post.
Synthonia were reduced to 10 men shortly after the Johnston goal when Jordan Robinson received two yellow cards in quick-fire succession. To their credit, Synthonia kept trying against difficult odds, but Guisborough were content to contain their local rivals and finished worthy 2-0 winners to continue their climb up the league and set the scene for an important home clash with Whitley Bay on Saturday.
Guisborough Town Manager Chris Hardy was delighted to see his side bounce back so well after the disappointing 1-0 FA Vase defeat at Morpeth last Saturday.
He said: “The game against Synners threatened to be a mud bath given all the rain we have had of late, but the Central Avenue pitch was nothing less than excellent and allowed two good footballing sides to go about their business in very entertaining and determined fashion.
“The first half was a very tight affair with both sides having their fair share of the possession and the woodwork was rattled at both ends.
"The second half saw Guisborough open their account soon after the restart with a penalty taken and converted by McPhillips, soon after the lead was doubled with a well-worked goal by Johnston.
“The home side did apply the pressure towards the end with no real breakthrough. On reflection this was a game played by two evenly- matched sides and I honestly thought that whoever scored first would go on to win the game. We took our chances well which give us a good platform to go on and take all three points. Another very pleasing result and the exact reaction needed after the disappointment of Saturday’s defeat against Morpeth.”
For the Whitley Bay game, returning to the Guisborough squad are Lee Bythway and Joel Guy but the Priorymen have injury worries to Gary Wood, Paul Roddam, Craig Bishop and Nathan Evans.
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