Lions do it the hard way

Guiseley extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a hard-fought 3-2 win at Bower Fold this evening. 

Having taken an early the lead through Adam Boyes, the Lions were overtaken by two headers each side of half-time before two goals in as many minutes from Alex Johnson and Wayne Brooksby restored the visitors’ advantage for what proved to be the final score.

The Lions took the lead after just eight minutes, when the ball was played forward to Boyes who advanced down the right channel to beat Daniel East at his near post with a sweet low shot.

Despite plenty of possession and good approach play, the visitors were too often let down by the final pass and Celtic gradually got into the game, hitting Guiseley on the break where only some desperate defending maintained the visitors’ slender advantage.

After having a goal disallowed for offside, the home side forced a series of corners and they levelled with virtually the last kick of the half when  a corner from the right was played to the far post where the unmarked Sean McConville squared matters.

Having conceded at the death, the Lions should have been ahead shortly after the restart when East could only parry Gavin Rothery’s powerful shot but Boyes’ follow-up was smothered by the grateful keeper.

Slack marking once again proved to be the visitors’ downfall soon afterwards when the unmarked Liam Dickinson rose to head home a free kick into the far corner past an exasperated Steve Drench, much to the delight of the home fans amongst the crowd of 253, which included a large contingent from over the Pennines.

Manager Mark Bower rang the changes, bringing on Alex Johnson and Danny Forrest for Kevin Holsgrove and Jake Lawlor, and it almost had the desired effect as Johnson hit an upright.

The game was then turned on its head in the space of two minutes when a free kick from Rhys Meynell was headed down by Boyes for Johnson to sidestep his marker and fire wide of East on 76 minutes.

Two minutes later, with Guiseley turning the screw,  a moment’s hesitation by Matt Regan saw Brooksby take the ball off him, fly past two defenders and calmly slot the ball past East to put the Lions back in front.

And despite several forays by Celtic and four minutes of stoppage time the Guiseley defence held firm to clinch another three valuable points that move them three places up the table to sixth, where they sit level on points with Harrogate Town, who occupy the last play-off place.

Mark Bower’s post-match interview

Team:

1 – Drench

2 – Holdsworth (C)

3 – Parker

4 – Hall

5 – Meynell

6 – Lawlor (Forrest 74)

7 – Brooksby 78

8 – Boshell

9 – Boyes 8

10 – Holsgrove (Johnson, A, 57, goal-76)

11 – Rothery

12 – Harrison

14 – Forrest

15 – Potts

16 – Johnson (A)

18 – Dickinson