Having given League One side Fleetwood Town a few scares early on Guiseley found themselves two goals behind on the half hour, the second of which was a freak goal that flew into the empty net when Wes Brown charged down Joe Green’s attempted clearance and although Alex Purver pulled one back shortly after with a delightful lob it was Town who will host AFC Wimbledon in the Third Round in early January.
The home side were straight out of the blocks but Will Hartfield’s attempted through ball found Rowan Liburd offside.
Hatfield then produced a right foot shot from 20 yards that was blocked by a posse of visiting defenders.
Kingsley James was next to try his luck as he brought a good save from Alex Cairns before the stopper was in action again at his near post diving to smother Liburd’s snapshot.
In response to the hosts pressure Wes Burns put his header the wrong side of the post from Ched Evans cross and Conor McAleny blazed over from a good position shortly after.
Hatfield and Liburd both had shots from outside the area blocked as the Lions continued to match their full-time opponents blow-for-blow.
Fleetwood did eventually take the lead as Paddy Madden converted a Conor McAleny cross with a shot beyond Green into the bottom corner on 31 minutes.
Two minutes later the visitors doubled their lead as Jo Cummings back pass sold Green short and the stoppers attempted clearance hit the onrushing Burns and flew into the top corner.
Alex Purver halved the deficit in similar circumstances as the Fleetwood defence was all at sixes and sevens and Cairn’s rushed clearance went straight to the Guiseley midfielder who promptly lobbed it into the empty net from 25 yards.
The second half was a much less frenetic affair as Town exercised their game management plan to sit on their lead and hit the home side on the counter.
Purver again went close on the restart and Niall Heaton put a header over from a Kaine Felix corner.
Ched Evans brought a good save from Green and Paddy Madden nearly wrapped it up with a fierce shot that came back off the bar.
Despite a frenetic finish in which the lively James had a shot blocked as the clock ticked down and substitute Paul Clayton’s shot was held by Cairns just as Louis Walsh was about to pounce, it was Joey Barton’s team who went through to the next round.
Having said there are plenty of positives that the Lions can take from the performance as they took a League One opponent right down to the wire and gave a good account of themselves on national TV after having reached the Emirates FA Cup Second Round in successive season but for only the second time in their history. And with a bit more luck, especially in the first half, the outcome could have been completely different.
FA Trophy Final anyone??
6-Halls (Clayton 82)
7-Felix (Walsh 73)
10-Hatfield (Walters 73)