Newly-crowned Champions Chester met their match this afternoon in the shape of a steely and determined Guiseley side who are themselves looking to consolidate second place. In a game where no quarter was asked or given, Josh Wilson’s brace each side of half-time cancelled out Tony Gray’s late equaliser in first half stoppage time.
Lions Manager Steve Kittrick said that his players were ‘hurting’ from Chester’s title win last Saturday and it certainly showed in the way that the home side took the game to the visitors, Kevin Holsgrove and Josh Wilson proving a handful for the Chester defence whilst at the back Danny Ellis and the superb Matt Wilson stymied the Champions’ lethal strike force.
Chester were first to threaten but Steve Drench’s save was equal to George Horan’s towering header and it wasn’t long before the Lions took the lead after just eight minutes when Gavin Rothery was fouled just outside the area, allowing Josh Wilson to bend the resultant free kick round the wall and beyond keeper John Danby.
Shortly afterwards, Guiseley were awarded another free kick in a similar position but this time Wilson’s luck was out as his shot struck the upright. Antoni Sarcevic put one just wide at the other end, and when Matt Wilson slipped Gray was left with only Drench to beat but pulled his shot wide. Not to be denied, however, Gray converted a corner on 45 minutes to square matters.
Early in the second half Dominic Collins made a superb intervention as Holsgrove bore down on goal and Nathan Jarman wasted a golden opportunity shooting straight at Drench, but the home fans were in ecstasy after 70 minutes as Andy Holdsworth’s intelligent ball bisected the visitors’ defence for Josh Wilson to run on to and beat Danby again. James Walshaw nearly set up the Lions’ third with a cheeky backheel to set up Jack Rea but his shot went just the wrong side of the post.
Entertainment value: *****
Star Man: Matt Wilson (Guiseley)
Scorers: Guiseley – Josh Wilson 8, 70; Chester – Gray 45
Guiseley: Drench; Hardy, Meynell; Rea, Ellis, Wilson (M); Wilson (J), Holdsworth (Captain), Holsgrove (Walshaw, 63), Carole, Rothery. Subs not used: McWilliams, Bower, Mullen, Giles.
Chester: Danby; Turner (L), McGinn; Horan (Captain) (Baynes, 46), Collins, Turner (N) (Williams (M), 87); Hankin, Sarcevic, Jarman, Gray (Williams (A), 77), Williams (D). Subs not used: Howard, Brown
Referee: Matthew Bristow.