Hull City 3 – Guiseley 4 (after extra time)
Another weekend, another game seemingly heading for penalties, and another late goal finally settling it. Fortunately, this time, it was Guiseley who came up with the winner in the league cup Southern area final.
On a hot sunny day in Hull the home side pressed immediately, earning a corner almost straight from the kick off, but it was Guiseley who went ahead within the first ten minutes. The award of a free kick just outside the box was neither the first or last questionable decision from the referee, but there was no questioning Tanya Rich’s deflected finish in to the bottom corner.
Hull had much the better of the play, with their little and large forward combination causing problems for the Guiseley back line. Only a good save from Danni Maslin in a one on one kept the scores level, and when the big centre forward latched on to a long ball and took the ball round the Guiseley keeper she could only find the side netting from a tight angle. At the other end Caroline Hulme charged down a clearance from the Hull keeper and saw the ball fly just past the post. Late in the first half the Guiseley goal continued to lead a charmed life, with a shot deflected on to the post, but just as it looked as if Guiseley would reach the interval one up the offside trap was sprung and the game levelled.
Tanya Rich put Caroline Hulme through in the first minute of the second half, but she could only shoot wide, after which much of the play belonged to Hull. It was little more than they deserved when their big centre forward got on to a headed ball in to the box, held off three challenges, and slotted home. Guiseley laboured through the remainder of the half but failed to create much in the way of meaningful pressure. Louise Stringer shot wide after bundling her way through, and the same player saw a through ball cleared off her toes by the home keeper. In to the last five minutes Guiseley managed to exert some pressure down the right hand side, and a ball was knocked in to the box where captain Michelle Walsh was on hand to bring the scores level.
Extra time started with both sides wasting good scoring opportunities, but as players tired the chances became thinner on the ground, and the game seemed to be heading to the inevitable conclusion of a penalty shootout. However, with just five minutes left, Guiseley struck what seemed certain to be the winner. A poor clearance from Hull’s keeper found its way to Tanya Rich who, after much encouragement from her team mates, lobbed home from distance. The celebrations were short lived, as straight from the kick Hull played the ball upfield. With a player going to ground on the edge of the box it was no surprise that the referee awarded a contentious penalty, which was duly dispatched. Not to be outdone, Guiseley pressed again. Persistent work by the front three saw the ball fall to Michelle Walsh on the edge of the box, and her curling shot put Guiseley back in front. Still there was time for Hull to threaten, but a lob across the goal found nobody able to convert.
Credit goes to both team for a match which remained competitive for the full 120 minutes in conditions which saw drinks being brought on at every break in play. The cup final will see Guiseley play York City, who beat Peterlee 2-1 in the other semi final, next Sunday.