Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hardy Praises Hotshot as Town Climb Up the Table; NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hardy Praises Hotshot as Town Climb Up the Table; NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Steel Sports writer adam.steel@trinitymirror.com

GUISBOROUGH manager Chris Hardy was full of praise for Luke Bythway after the line-leading striker scored twice in the Priorymen's dramatic 3-2 home win against Newcastle Benfield.

Bythway's double included a penalty and injury-time winner from a spilled corner which propelled Guisborough up three places to third in the Northern League first division.

The former Doncaster Rovers hitman had to be content with playing at right-back due to the form of Danny Johnson and Mikey Roberts last season.

But he has flourished after being restored to his more favoured role in attack following the duo's summer exits, and Guisborough are reaping the benefits.

Bythway was outstanding again on Saturday, putting Guisborough ahead with an 18th minute penalty following a foul on Chay Liddle, but Paul Brayson levelled just before half time. Guisborough keeper Nick Liversedge and opposite number Andrew Grainger made outstanding saves to keep the score down as both sides went for it after the break.

But there was a late goal rush with the winner squirming in off Bythway's back after he had crossed for Liam McPhillips to make it 2-1 before Benfield equalised again through Steve Tobin.

Hardy said: "Luke is a good player. He is a focal point for us and we are getting people in and around him.

"It's no coincidence that his form has come hand in hand with our recent upsurge.

"We've been trying to fill voids that lads' departures left us with last year and, as I say, he gives us that point of attack.

"One of his biggest problems is that he is versatile. As a result, that has seen him move around the pitch.

"But at the moment the performances that he is putting in up top mean we would be foolish to take him out of there." Marske's trip to Morpeth was postponed, as was Billingham Synthonia's game at Penrith and Thornaby's home clash against Ryton. …

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