Improving Guiseley battled for a well-deserved point at Edgeley Park this evening against much fancied Stockport County and with some steadier finishing could have returned to West Yorkshire with all three points.
Kayode Odejayi started up front with Kaine Felix and Curtis Morrison in support down the flanks as Reece Thompson and Rowan Liburd dropped to the bench. Jack Dyche also retained his place in midfield.
County started off like they meant business with Daniel Cowan prominent down the right flank, but their only effort of note came when Joshua Askew’s shot which was comfortably saved by Jon Worsnop.
The first threat from the Lions came from Odejayi’s flick on which was just too strong for Morrison.
But the big man’s next ball out to Morrison proved decisive as he skipped past two defender before playing the ball into the six-yard box where Felix, with his back to goal, turned his marker and shot past Ben Hinchcliffe.
Felix then had a glorious chance to double the Lions advantage when he latched on to another Odejayi lay-off but this time in a one-on-one with Hinchcliffe it was the home stopper who came off best.
Had that gone it it’s doubtful that the Hatters would have recovered such was the surety of the visitors defending.
Hinchcliffe was again soon in action as he fumbled Morrisons free kick but just recovered in time.
Stockport were relying on Cowan getting crosses in from the flank and Scott Garner got in a crucial clearance just before the break.
The visitors suffered a setback five minutes before halftime when Will Hatfield left the field injured and was replaced by Alex Purver.
The home side once again tried to force the issue on the restart and when Askew lobbed Worsnop it looked promising but Moyo had seen the danger and cleared his lines.
Having weathered the early onslaught, the visitors took the game to their hosts and Morrison saw his shot blocked by Hinchcliffe.
Keane then nearly sliced the ball into his own net as Odejayi’s cross sailed across the six-yard box.
Having failed to make any impression on the Guiseley defence it took a well taken free kick round the wall and into the bottom corner by Sam Walker to level matters on the hour.
Niall Heaton’s long throw caused consternation in the home defence before drifting harmlessly behind and Morrison forced Hinchcliffe to tip his rising shot over the bar.
The Hatters brought on three substitutes in an effort to seal the points win but despite a flurry of late corners they found the Guiseley impenetrable.
4 James (42)
8 Hatfield (Purver 39)