Kendall Fires Lions To Victory In Local Derby

Guiseley began 2024 in good fashion as they eked out an important 1-0 victory at local rivals Bradford (Park Avenue) on New Year’s Day, writes Edward Robertson.

Manager Andy Welsh was pleased with his side’s performance after a discouraging home defeat to strugglers Marske United on Boxing Day. “I was probably the lad’s loudest critic on Boxing Day, but I’m really pleased today. On the counter attack, we were devastating. It was a very good away performance, so today I’m shouting from the rooftops.”

The Lions started quickly as debutant Abimbola Obasato whipped a dangerous ball into the box and into the path of Kofi Moore. However the loanee could only ripple the side netting.

Moments later, Guiseley came close to conceding after Ollie Brown’s pass back to Ollie Battersby was intercepted by Lewis Hey. The former Lion’s shot spun narrowly wide, much to the visitors relief.

Another chance came for Guiseley with the game only seventeen minutes old. Gabriel Johnson’s corner picked out a leaping Reece Kendall. His header was then acrobatically saved by Tom Scott.

Three minutes later the deadlock was broken. Captain Liam Tongue won the ball in the middle of the park and swept it across to Johnson, who in turn found Kendall in space. The defender’s powerful shot swirled and deceived Scott to give the Lions a valuable lead, and provide Kendall with his third goal in four games.

With only five minutes to go until the break, Guiseley troubled the hosts goal again. Tongue once more combatively won the ball in midfield, and sought out Johnson. His curling shot was tipped away by Scott, to keep the lead to one before the break.

The visitors continued the second half in much the same vein as the first when another chance passed them by. Neat interplay between Tom Denton and Moore released the onrushing Brown. However, the full back’s shot was palmed away by Scott at his near post.

A succession of substitutions seemed to invigorate Bradford Park Avenue as the second half wore on. Ted Lavelle’s long distance effort shaved the upright. Then, a free kick on the edge of the penalty box was well blocked by an efficient Guiseley wall in a sustained period of pressure for Avenue.

The Lions very nearly caught the hosts on the counter attack. Moore carried the ball forward from the back and found substitute Leigh Whelan on the edge of the box. Whelan then stylishly flicked the ball over the defence to Tongue, whose volley lashed wide of the post.

It was an important victory for the Lions that left them only two points away from the Play Off spots, following a tough festive period. Welsh was suitably impressed with his sides spirited performance, but was keen for general improvement in the new year.

“We’ve played 23 league games now, and we want the second half to be better. So, half-term report is, we’ve done okay. But we want to improve.”

Bradford (Park Avenue) 0-1 Guiseley | Monday 1st January 2024 | Horsfall Stadium

Attendance: 719

Team: 1. Ollie Battersby, 2. Ollie Brown, 3. Reece Kendall, 4. Prince Ekpolo, 5. Aiden Walker, 6. Josh Ashman, 7. Kofi Moore, 8. Liam Tongue (C) (65′ Miller), 9. Tom Denton, 10. Gabriel Johnson (74′ Whelan) and 11. Abimbola Obasoto (74′ Hall) (86′ Murphy).

Subs: 12. Kallan Murphy, 14. Leigh Whelan, 15. Callum Chippendale, 16. Tom Pratt and 17. Sincere Hall.

Next Up:

3:00 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Guiseley vs Huddersfield Town