In a Guisborough line up that featured two Woods – Gary and Lewis – Spennymoor can perhaps lay claim to a Wood of greater fame in Anne Wood. Whilst the name may not immediately ring any bells, we’ve all heard of the Teletubbies and anyone who is a parent of very young children will have heard of In the night garden. Spennymoor born Wood was the creative mind behind both international hits. Whilst it is claimed that Ridley Scott found inspiration in the Billingham skyline for his Bladerunner movie, we can only speculate over what Anne Wood found in Spennymoor to inspire her Teletubby creations.After one minute of tonight’s match, it was Guisborough suppporters – not the Tellytubbies – that were emitting sounds of Ey oh as the visitors virtually walked the ball into the net from close range. It must have left Guisborough manager Chris Hardy clenching his fists in frustration as Anthony Peacock was given all the time in the world to stroke the ball home. You can ill afford to give a side of Spennymoor’s calibre a goal start. Last season the Priorymen were the only side in the division to take four points off Spennymoor. Yes, you did read that correctly. We were officially Spennymoor’s bogey side, a fact that was met with great hilarity from my three year old son as I readied myself to head to the match. In each of last year’s encounters Guisborough pressed the ball and tracked back wonderfully to limit Spennymoor’s chances on goal. In turn, as Moors pressed forward themselves Guisborough, with several speedy players, were able to run from deep and exploit the gaps that developed over the course of ninety minutes. Perhaps this was intended to be Chris Hardy’s tactic tonight, but it was cut to shreds after barely a minute and totally changed the dynamic of the game before it had ever really begun.
Spennymoor are a class act. They move the ball around brilliantly and are totally committed to playing proper football. Lots of teams try to play football, but often cannot build up the pace and momentum required to open up sides. In Anthony Peacock, Spennymoor have a player that is perfectly suited to his side being a goal up. He was lethal on the break and at his wriggling, tricky best. With such a low centre of gravity, Peacock is able turn on a sixpence and switch play in an instant. This was the best I had seen him play tonight and it was easy to see why he had graced the professional game and difficult to understand why he is not still playing at a higher level.Of course, Spennymoor have so many standout players and if some are below par, they have the wonderful luxury of bringing another one off the bench. Having had such a terrible start to the game, Guisborough did well to hold the score to 1-0 at half-time and there was a hope that perhaps with a more forceful second half showing they could pinch something from the game. These hopes were dashed immediately when substitute Cogden saw his speculative effort go low into the corner.
With Guisborough pressing forward and Spennymoor hungry for further goals, the Guisborough defence began to look more exposed than Prince Harry on a Las Vegas jaunt. Guisborough never expected to win, but the quantity of second half goals was a touch disappointing. The excellent Mark Davison bagged a second half hat-trick and I can foresee him scoring a lot of goals this term if he is given this level of service. In truth, with Spennymoor if you snuff out one threat another seems to pop up. It rather reminded me of playing Whack a mole.If you had told me after three games that we would have won two of them and lost to Spennymoor, I would have taken that. Tomorrow sees us travel to Shildon – a side in red hot form. Victory will be difficult, but this is the FA Cup so let’s hope for a little magic. As for Spennymoor, well – they remain the side to beat. As a final point it is perhaps worth noting that as well as the Teletubbies, Anne Wood also produced a programme called The blips. Guisborough fans will hope that this was all this was tonight after an otherwise encouraging start to the season.