Guiseley won this battle of the Blue Square North potential promotion candidates against a battling Brackley Town courtesy of two penalties and a sublime Kevin Holsgrove chip to cancel out a Glenn Walker equaliser.
In a competitive first half which became a battle of the midfield it was the visitors who threatened first, with Marvin Robinson putting his header just wide. Holsgrove also put one just over the bar from Andy Holdsworth’s cross in a largely stop-start affair that eventually came to life in the 38th minute when the persistent Holsgrove was scythed down by Josh Green in the area, the defender receiving a yellow card for his misdemeanour. Nicky Boshell despatched the penalty, which ‘keeper Billy Turley got both hands to only to be beaten by the pace. Eddie Odihambo then made a timely intervention for the visitors as Holsgrove and Nicky Boshell waited to pounce on Wayne Brooksby’s cross.
The centre back also came to his side’s rescue early in the second half, clearing Nicky Boshell’s glancing header with Turley beaten. This came after Michael Corcoran had hit a rising shot just over the bar while substitute Tom Winters did the same with a free kick from twenty yards out. Brackley’s persistence eventually paid off on 69 minutes as Walker’s shot took a massive deflection to wrongfoot Drench and level matters.
The drama continued in a pulsating second half when the two Boshell brothers combined, Nicky being denied by a block from Turley, but the vociferous ‘keeper then had a hand in the two goals that proved to be Town’s undoing.
First he tripped Brooksby in full flight, and despite Turley’s protestations substitute Gavin Rothery calmly slotted home the resultant spot kick on 74 minutes. And the game was effectively sealed a minute later with the irrepressible Holsgrove taking a ball down the left channel, spotting Turley in no man’s land and delivering a delicious lob over the stranded ‘keeper. Walker missed a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears, heading wide from four yards out after Drench had tipped Winters’ free kick on to the bar.
Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick was pleased with his team’s performance. “ We expected this to be a tough game as Brackley to are a strong, physical side but we have players like Holsgrove, who worries defenders with his strength and an eye for the opportunity like today with the third goal.”
Entertainment value: ****
Star man: Danny Ellis (Guiseley)
Scorers: Guiseley – N Boshell (38, p), Rothery (74, p), Holsgrove (75). Brackley – Walker (69).
Teams: Guiseley – Drench, Holdsworth (Capt), Meynell, Rea, Ellis, Pearson, Wilson (Rothery, 63), D Boshell (Clarke, 84), Holsgrove (Walshaw, 80), N Boshell, Brooksby. Subs not used: Dale, Giles
Brackley Town – Turley, Corcoran, McDonald, Odihambo (Sandy, 80), Green (Mulligan, 80), Nisevic, Story (Winters, 59), Solkham (Capt), Diggin, Robinson, Walker. Subs not used: Clifton, Sharp
Referee: M Coy