Happy start to new year for Lions

Today’s match sponsored by Hollings Pet Treats

It was a happy start to the new year for Guiseley as they cruised past Harrogate 4-2 at Nethermoor, goals from Jake Lawlor, Oli Johnson, Nicky Boshell and Gavin Rothery giving them an unassailable lead despite a late brace for Town from Jake Speight and Paul Clayton.

With Town having so nearly ended Barrow’s unbeaten home record last time out and given the Lions a tough test on Boxing Day, the home side were in no mood to let their near neighbours get a grip on the game as Peter Crook tipped Alex Johnson’s shot round the post early on.

The constant pressure eventually paid dividends eleven minutes in as the two Johnsons combined on the left with Alex’s effort going through Crook’s legs, rebounding off the post and across the six-yard box where Lawlor converted the easiest of chances.

The Lions doubled their lead seven minutes later when Danny Lowe threaded a precision pass through Town’s backline for Oli Johnson to run onto and bend a shot round Crooks into the far corner for the second.

Nicky Boshell replaced Wayne Brooksby on 25 minutes after the latter had pulled up chasing down a through ball, and brother Danny was a whisker away shortly after as his shot across goal went just the wrong side of the post.

Crooks pulled off three more smart saves from Nicky Boshell and the two Johnsons just before the break as the Lions piled on the pressure.

The visiting shot stopper also came to his side’s rescue after the restart to deny Alex Johnson and Nicky Boshell again, but he was left rooted to the spot as Boshell’s header from amongst a clutch of players on 53 minutes went in off the post following  Andy Holdsworth’s pinpoint cross.

Worse was to follow for the visitors as first Nicky Boshell’s swerving free kick clipped the outside of the post, and when he and Alex Johnson played a one-two on the right, the latter crossed for the unmarked Gavin Rothery to head home from six yards on 65 minutes.

Harrogate manager Simon Weaver had replaced Adam Nowakowski and Louis Swain with Jordan Thewlis and Jake Speight just before Guiseley’s fourth, and the change paid dividends on 69 minutes as Speight pulled a goal back before on-loan striker Paul Clayton further reduced the arrears five minutes later.

However, despite a sustained period of pressure from Town, the Lions eventually regained the upper hand, going close as Crook intervened when Nicky Boshell looked to  convert Ben Parker’s cross before seeing the game out to claim three more valuable points.

The win sees the Lions retain third place in the table, one point behind Barrow who were beaten 2-1 by  AFC Fylde. The leaders are now four points ahead of Guiseley and have a game in hand, meaning that their visit to Nethermoor on Tuesday, January 20th assumes even more significance for both teams.

Post match reaction from Mark Bower, Alex Johnson and Danny Ellis

Attendance: 949

Team:

1-Steven Drench

2-Andy Holdsworth

3-Ben Parker (C)

4-Danny Lowe

5-Danny Ellis

6-Jake Lawlor

7-Wayne Brooksby (N Boshell, 25)

8-Danny Boshell

9-Alex Johnson (Hendrie, 89)

10-Oli Johnson (Stockdill, 84)

11-Gavin Rothery

12-Kyle Harrison

14-Jordan Hendrie

15-Jack Stockdill

16-Nicky Boshell

18-Steve Dickinson

Next Up:

7:45 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Avro vs Guiseley