Josh Stones Double Sees Off Dale

A fourth successive brace of goals by Josh Stones in four FA Youth Cup ties saw Guiseley Academy progress to the Second Round Proper by disposing of a Rochdale side that wasted numerous chances.

It was quite a battle for Dave Currie’s Guiseley side but they rode the storm to cement a brilliant day for their manager. Prior to the game Currie had learned that one of his former Guiseley charges Jacob Brown, now with Stoke City, had been selected for the Scotland international squad writes Rachel O’Connor.

Back to the present crop of Currie’s Academy boys and it was Stones, who made his first team debut last Saturday at Darlington, who added to his impressive tally, his double making it 13 goals in seven games for the midfielder turned striker.

Stones never let up for one moment as Rochdale threatened at times to tear Guiseley apart and he was full of running to the very end popping up to bag the winner in time added on after the 90 minutes.

This was Rochdale’s first foray into the competition this season whilst Guiseley had wins over Tadcaster Albion (4-0), Grimsby Borough (4-0) and Ossett United (3-2) to take them to this First Round Proper tie.

Unbeaten in seven games prior to this Guiseley had also recorded impressive league wins over Notts County, Chesterfield, Stockport County and FC Halifax Town.

This game was probably their first real test and they had to show their battling qualities to win this one. These were epitomised by the strong running of Stones and Jakub Hebda up front, the constant running of Harry Glover in midfield and Oli Reape at right-back but to a man they rose to the occasion to triumph over a good side.

Ricardo Grey made a good clearance as Rochdale battled to register the first goal and then their No 9 Peter Thomas fired wide before ‘keeper Oli Brakenbury collected a Rochdale attempt on goal. Brackenbury then saved with his feet as Guiseley held firm under the onslaught.

Jesper Laurence should have done better with a headed chance before Glover fired a free-kick into the arms of Rochdale ‘keeper Brad Kelly.

Rochdale won a series of corners but they came to nothing as Guiseley dug in and it was the Young Lions who took the lead. A great run and fine cross by Reape saw Stones fire the ball home in style after 21 minutes.

The strength of Stones in the tackle was rattling Rochdale as he gave a ferocious display and Glover disheartened them with a goalline clearance after Brackenbury had failed to collect. Ellis Farrar then blocked an effort as Rochdale again burst through and Brackenbury beat another effort away.

A good move almost set up Hebda but off-side was flagged and then Stones produced a soft shot which went wide on 33 minutes. Farrar was lucky to get away with slicing the ball just wide of his own goal and Guiseley breathed again.

Guiseley then conceded a penalty on 39 minutes and Rochdale’s Thomas smashed it home to level the scores just before half-time.

The second-half started with Stones just beaten by the ‘keeper as he chased a ball forward. Hebda was booked as he followed up on the loose ball. Jayden John started to become an influential figure down the left in both defence and attack as Guiseley started to believe that they had the winning of this game.

Guiseley were hit by a 60th minute injury to the impressive Reape which saw him replaced by Jnai Trought and Rochdale’s Laurence yellow carded. The Young Lions pressed forward and Glover had a raking shot saved.

Alex Mather was replaced by Fole Nkem in the 80th minute before Guiseley were awarded a free-kick 22 yards out for a foul on the ever lively Glover. Skipper Harrison Leigh stepped up but hit the ball over the bar.

Guiseley also got a free-kick for a foul on Nkem as Rochdale’s frustration manifested itself in a number of yellow cards. A good tackle by Anusio Jesus stopped Stones in his tracks but Guiseley rose to a man to press on for a winner.

Four minutes of added time were called by referee Jack Hall and after two of those Stones got a sniff of goal and a sniff is all a player in his kind of form needs. He moved across from the right and fired the ball in with great conviction before wheeling away to celebrate his lucky 13th goal of the season.

Attendance: 295

GUISELEY: Oli Brackenbury; Oli Reape (Jnai Trought 60), Ellis Farrar, Harrison Leigh, Jayden John; Harry Glover, Ricardo Grey, Alex Mather (Fole Nkem 76), Dexter Ball; Jakub Hebda, Josh Stones.

Subs: Sam Meeson, Oliwier Grzelak, Dylan Kouemou, Miguel Ferreira, Thierry Hendrickson.

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Pre-Season Friendly

Guiseley vs Huddersfield Town