Many Happy Returns for O’Neill As Lions Register First Away Win

Joint manager Russ O’Neill returned to his old stamping ground andtogether with Marcus Bignot masterminded Guiseley’s first away win of the season as they extended their unbeaten run to seven and moved up to thirteenth in the table.

Town went into the match on the back of four straight wins that had propelled them up amongst the early contenders in third place.

The Lions starting line up showed several changes due to a lengthening injury list with Will Thornton starting in the back four and Andy Halls moving into midfield where he was joined by Alex-Ray Harvey who was making his first start.

New signing Lewis Walters also made his Guiseley debut after being released by Nottingham Forest at the end of last season.

The home side made a strong start on an overcast afternoon on a surface made greasy by frequent heavy showers but were pegged back after eleven minutes in when Rowan Liburd latched on to a loose back pass to get the better of Martin Riley before committing goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom and slotting the ball into the empty net.

Two minutes later the home side had the chance to equalize but Bobby Johnson’s ball across the six yard box fizzed narrowly wide.

Joe Green then denied the same player with a good save and also tipped over a Tom Denton header.

Despite these three efforts Town were relying on balls up to Denton but the Lions defence was standing firm and getting the ball down through hte midfield. An approach that nearly paid dividends when debutant Walters delivered a perfect cross for Liburd to arrow a powerful header towards the top corner that Ramsbottom did well to palm away at full stretch.

The second half continued in much the same vein with the Reds lumping balls up to Denton that usually ended up in the possession of a blue-clad defender.

Harvey had a great chance to put the game to bed after a flowing move down the right flank but his shot lacked power and was gathered by Ramsbottom.

Having his best game of the season so far Liburd again went close as he fired a free kick from just outside the area millimeters wide of the post.

And any hopes Alfreton had of salavaging somethig from the game all but disappeared when substitute Harry Middleton, who had only been on the field for twenty minutes, was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Kingsley James.

Team:

1 Green

2 Moyo

3 Heaton

4 Purver

5 Garner

6 Halls

7 Walters (Smith 86)

8 James

9 Liburd

10 Thornton

11 Harvey (Hatfield 77)

Subs:

12 Kennedy

14 Hatfield

15 Smith

16 Clayton

17 Dyche