Lions make history with second-half comeback

This game summed up the Lions’ season as they went in at the break two goals down only to dominate the second half and square matters through leading scorer Adam Boyes and substitute Liam Dickinson before fellow substitute Nicky Boshell catapulted Guiseley into the top echelon of non-league for the first time in their history.

The game got off to a sensational start on a bumpy and uneven pitch as Chorley defender Andy Teague nodded the Magpies ahead after just five minutes before Paul Jarvis added a second on 23 minutes, although his shot took a heavy deflection off Supporters’ Player of the Year Jake Lawlor to wrongfoot Steven Drench.

Guiseley seemingly suffered a major setback when Liam Dickinson replaced the clearly unfit Oli Johnson on 45 minutes, but the substitution proved a blessing in disguise.

Drench walked off imploring the 921 Guiseley supporters in the 3,418 crowd to get behind the team in the second half, which they did to sensational effect as the Lions clawed themselves back into the game and end a five-year wait for a deserved place at the top table for next season.

Teague left the field early in the second half having sustained a head injury midway through the first, but leading scorer Adam Boyes needed no prompting as he latched on to Danny Boshell’s ball over the top to hold off his marker and shoot past Sam Ashton to begin the comeback on 61 minutes.

Ashton left the field through injury to be replaced by Aaron Grundy. Dickinson was proving a constant threat to the Chorley back line as he connected with Ryan Toulson’s long throw-ins and he got his due reward when his diving header from Wayne Brooksby’s free kick levelled the scores on 73 minutes.

And Guiseley supporters were in seventh heaven five minutes later when Nicky Boshell nipped in to grab a thoroughly-deserved winner as the shellshocked and static home defence surrendered their two-goal lead.

Manager Garry Flitcroft will no doubt point to the loss of influential central defender Shaun Teague and goalkeeper Sam Ashton but the Lions can also highlight the loss of the mercurial Oli Johnson and central defender Danny Ellis, with versatile Supporters’ Player of the Year Jake Lawlor once again partnering the consistent Danny Hall at the centre of defence.

Matty Flynn thought he had equalized deep into injury time with a header off the underside of the bar only for the assistant’s flag to relieve the travelling supporters’ consternation and end a five-year wait to join the non-league elite.

Post-match reaction:

Jake Lawlor     Andy Holdsworth    Phil Rogerson     Liam Dickinson   Steven Drench     Adam Boyes    Danny Hall  Danny Boshell   Wayne Brooksby  and Mark Bower

And Chorley manager Garry Flitcroft

Photos from an historic occassion