With two good wins behind them over Rochdale and FC United of Manchester Guiseley AFC Academy travelled to play FC Halifax Town in the National Youth Alliance U-19 League on Wednesday knowing they faced a tougher challenge.
The game was played at West Riding County FA’s headquarters in Woodlesford, and with Halifax winning the league last season with virtually the same starting eleven the Guiseley players knew that only their very best display would allow them to take the points.
In the end the hard-fought game was won by one touch of brilliance.
Tabish Hussain burst into the Halifax penalty area only to be brought down and the referee pointed to the spot.
Up stepped cool-headed captain Albert Ibrahimi to put the ball into the net and give Guiseley the lead despite the Halifax ‘keeper getting a hand to it.
Despite now being down to 10 men, after their winger was sent off for violent conduct, Halifax continued to put pressure on the Young Lions.
However, Guiseley’s youngsters stood firm and dealt with any pressure well and, in turn, created a number of chances to put the game to bed.
In the end it was Ibrahimi’s penalty that proved to be the difference and Guiseley came away with a very hard-fought three points to remain unbeaten at the top of the league.
Everyone in the Guiseley camp knows that nothing had been achieved this early in the season and that there are many more tough hurdles that they must overcome if they are to progress as a team and individuals.
The Academy staff are, however, more than delighted with the togetherness, attitude and effort from every one of the young men in white shirts.