Lancaster Loss Leaves Lions Lamenting

Guiseley fell to consecutive home league defeats for the first time under manager Andy Welsh as Lancaster City grabbed maximum points, writes Edward Robertson.

Welsh is worried about his charges’ drop in form. “Performance-wise, that’s our worst. We weren’t at it, and the fact we’ve contrived to lose this game is a worry.”

The Lions started the game strongly, as has been consistent with recent performances. In the opening minutes Michael Afuye cut inside and took a shot which flew over the bar.

However, the visitors raised their game. After 17 minutes some neat City interplay released Bradley Carroll, but to the hosts’ relief his effort rose above Oliver Battersby and the crossbar.

Moments later, the deadlock was broken. A through ball from midfield released Carroll, who rolled the ball past Battersby and then in off the post to give Lancaster the lead.

Guiseley’s response was immediate. A wicked ball from Afuye deflected off Gabriel Johnson and to Jameel Ible, who scrambled home to level the scores.

Only five minutes later a brilliant chance to take the lead passed the Lions by. Kallan Murphy won possession of the ball in the penalty box after Johnson’s promising run. His shot deflected off Charlie Barnes, deceiving goalkeeper and former Lion Tom Stewart, but frustratingly smacked against the post.

The second half started off as another even affair, with both sides struggling to gain ascendancy.

However the first clear cut chance of the half came sixty seven minutes in. A looping ball by substitute Luke Mariette was coolly collected by Murphy. However, his effort was palmed away by Stewart.

A moment of brilliance led to Guiseley’s downfall after 74 minutes. A whipped ball into the box was taken down by Nic Evangelinos, who flicked the ball into the air and, with his back to goal, volleyed it into the top corner.

The Lions chased the game with even greater urgency as another blow to their play off hopes loomed.

Despite Guiseley pressure it was the visitors who sealed their victory in stoppage time. An incisive counter attack saw an accurate, defence splitting, through-ball send Jake Connelly clear on goal. The substitute calmly slotted the ball past Battersby to give Lancaster City an unassailable two goal lead.

The Lions mustered a late consolation. Tom Denton’s flick-on found Johnson in the penalty area. The forward’s initial shot was blocked, however the rebound fell to him and his second effort rifled into the top corner.

It proved to be a case of too little too late for the Lions.

Welsh was dissatisfied after Guiseley’s third defeat in the space of seven days. “It’s a poor week, it’s been a really, really, poor week. Results have been so disappointing, and we’ll work hard to turn it around.”

Guiseley AFC 2-3 Lancaster City | Saturday 30th March 2024 | Nethermoor

Attendance: 766

Team:  1. Ollie Battersby, 2. Luke Partington (80′ Denton), 3. Reece Kendall, 4. Leigh Whelan (54′ Mariette’), 5. Aiden Walker, 6. Jameel Ible (C), 7. Michael Afuye (66′ Pratt), 8. Prince Ekpolo, 9. Kallan Murphy, 10. Gabriel Johnson and 11. Jordi Nsaka.

Subs: 12. Josh Ashman, 14. Tom Pratt, 15. Tom Denton, 16 Liam Tongue and 17. Luke Mariette.

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