James Walshaw’s fifteenth goal of the season proved to be the difference between the two sides and helped maintain Guiseley’s pursuit of runaway leaders Chester after newcomers Oxford set their stall out, leaving Andy Ballard as the lone striker in front of a massed defence and midfield.
The visitors’ tactics were to a large extent nullified by the slick passing game that has become Guiseley’s trademark this season as they prodded and probed the City defence, although City were first to threaten when Mulvany blasted his effort way over the bar and Declan Benjamin shot straight at Steve Drench.
But after that it was largely one-way traffic, with a Josh Wilson header from Rhys Meynell’s cross collected by Matt Ingram before Walshaw could pounce. The two strikers then combined, but Ingram was again alert to foil Wilson. Ingram then punched the ball of Wilson’s head as the Lions turned the screw, and he also saved the follow-up before Nick Stanley showed his cool to relieve the pressure.
Ingram held Andy Pearson’s powerful header on the resumption but he was finally beaten on 49 minutes when Wayne Brooksby swung in the Lions’ third successive corner. Pearson once again got his head to it only for Ingram to parry, and when the ball landed in the six-yard box an Oxford defender’s attempted clearance rebounded off one of his own players and fell for the opportunist Walshaw to prod home from all of two feet.
City had to come out after this setback but never really troubled Drench, and it was the home side who came closest to scoring when Aaron Hardy exchanged passes with substitute Nicky Boshell to set up Danny Boshell, whose shot from twenty yards cannoned off the foot of the post with Ingram beaten.
Entertainment value: ***
Star man: Josh Wilson (Guiseley)
Teams: Guiseley – Drench, Hardy, Meynell, Rea, Ellis, Pearson, Brooksby (Holsgrove, 72), Holdsworth (Captain), Wilson, Walshaw (N Boshell, 86), D Boshell. Subs not used: Bower, McWilliams, Giles.
Oxford City – Ingram, Gunn, Stanley, McNish (McEachean, 77), Learoyd, Wilmott, Benjamin, Pond, Ballard (Captain), Mulvany, Barcellos. Subs not used: Basham, Cook, Glass, Bell
Scorer: Guiseley – Walshaw, 49
Referee – M Salisbury.