Not surprisingly Adam Lockwood retained the line-up that had clinched the Lions first win of the season with the midweek demolition of York City for today’s crucial bottom of the table encounter against Southport at Nethermoor.
With just three points separating the two sides prior to kick off it was an understandably edgy first half but once the home side had taken the lead shaortly after the resumption the game began to open up and despite being pegged back, Guiseley eventually ran out 2-1 winners with Michael Rankine being hero and villain as first he netted the winner and then missed the chance to put the game to bed when Magnus Norman saved his spot kick to leave the Lions clinging on to their slender lead.
The home side signalled their intent early on when Jake Cassidy rattled the base of the post from twelve yards but the visitors hit back on the counter hen Ryan Higgins asping shot was parried by Jonathan Maxted before the same players deflected shot skimmed the bar and Maxted pulled off a point blank save from the resulting corner to deny the visitors.
Andrai Jones found his way into the book with two fouls in as many minutes and Jordan Preston stung the hands of Magnus Norman before Maxted once again came to the rescue clawing away Jones’ effort as the half ticked down.
The deadlock was eventually broken four minutes into the second half when neat interplay saw Jermaine Hylton lay the ball off for Jake Cassidy to finish with a sublime curling shot into the top corner from eighteen yards.
Southport hit back almost immediately and the home side cleared off the line during an almighty scramble in the six-yard box but the visitors were not to be denied however as Jamie Allen fired home from close range following another goalmouth melee on 69 minutes.
Nicky Clee replaced Preston and Michael Rankine and Adam Boyes came on for Cassidy and Hylton for the last quarter of an hour.
The substitutions proved inspirational as first Hatfield was millimetres away from converting Clee’s cross and then when the latter found Boyes he crossed for Rankine to head home off the inside of the far post with eight minutes remaining tp restore the Lions lead.
The home side were then given a golden opportunity to sow the game up when Josh Thompson fouled Will Hatfield inside the box and after some debate Rankine stepped up to take the resulting spot kick. However, his shot lacked power and was easily palmed away by Norman to setup a nervy last six minutes during which visiting captain Callum Howe whistled one just over the bar as Guiseley clung on for their second successive victory in five days
The victory lifts the Lions above Southport into 23rd place, just one point from safety and must instil them with confidence ahead of a what looks like a tricky FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying tie at Lincoln City next Saturday.
19 Preston (Clee 77)
25 Atkinson (R)
29 Cassidy (Rankine 80)
30 Hylton (Boyes 80)
17 Atkinson (D)