Lions End Pre-Season In Style

The Lions secured a win at Chesterfield in our last pre-season friendly before the 20/21 campaign is due to get underway on Saturday, read more in our match report sponsored by BuildADrive.com.

Jonathan Wafula’s first half strike proved to be the difference between Guiseley and the Vanarama National League side on a cold afternoon in Derbyshire.

The Spireites had the better of the early stages but efforts from Luke Rawson and Haydn Hollis were both off target.

On the 11th minute mark Kaine Felix teed up Wafula but his effort was weak and easily saved by Dylan Wharton, it was a glorious chance for the visitors.

Chesterfield were starting to pile the pressure on from set pieces but The Lions’ defence stood strong and managed to stop the hosts from getting the first goal of the game.

Liam Mandeville went for a spectacular effort with an overhead kick but Brad Wade watched it sail over his crossbar.

Andy Kellett made his return to the side from injury against his former club, his free kick was crossed into the box but was well dealt with by the hosts.

The opening goal came when Will Evans was caught in possession by Felix, the forward showed great technique to dink the ball over Wharton but his effort hit the post. Prince Ekpolo and Wafula were queueing up to prod the ball home and the latter celebrated his first goal since his summer move with a calm finish.

Kellett looked for a goal against his former employers with a quickly taken free kick from a tight angle, Evans spotted the danger and his stretched out leg blocked the effort from going in.

Trialist number four then came close to extending the lead with an overhead kick but his effort hit the side netting.

The Lions went in at the break one goal to the good and perhaps could have been frustrated they didn’t score more in a tight first 45.

The first chance of the second half fell to Jonathan Smith, his pacy cross flashed across the face of Wade’s goal but couldn’t find one of his teammates.

The visitors went up the other end with a neat team move involving Ekpolo, Felix and Wafula but the Nigerian central midfielder could not be found in the middle with Wafula’s cross blocked.

A moment of madness followed, captain Hamza Bencherif saw an effort hooked away by Evans from underneath his own crossbar, it fell to Felix and his shot was somehow cleared too, this fell to half-time substitute Mark Howarth and his strike pinballed around the box before going out for a corner.

Howarth was at the centre of the action with our next chance too, Kellett launched a counter attack which found the tall central midfielder in the box but his shot was saved by Wharton.

After four successive corners from the visitors, all of which were somehow dealt with by the hosts, the flow of the game was interrupted by both sides making a series of substitutions.

Laurence McGuire had a rare second half shot for the hosts, at the end of a mazy run, but Wade saved the effort.

Substitute Nathan Newall nearly got his first goal of the season with a cross turned shot which looked to have caught Wharton out but the goalkeeper recovered to tip the ball over.

The Lions then hit the crossbar through Gabriel Johnson’s deflected cross, another let off for Chesterfield.

The final opening of note for Guiseley fell to Bencherif who won a free kick deep inside his own half, spotting Wharton off his line the captain took everyone by surprise attempting to score but with the goalkeeper running back to his line the ball bounced just wide.

That sealed an impressive performance and win from Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill’s side with a clean sheet on the road at a team in the division above, it’s just a sad sign of the times that no travelling supporters could celebrate the victory in the stands at Chesterfield’s impressive Technique Stadium.

Next up is Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup second round qualifying tie with Atherton Collieries at Nethermoor, kick-off is at 3pm with more details of how you can follow the game to be confirmed.

Team: 1. Brad Wade, 2. George Cantrill, 3. Brad Nicholson, 4. Trialist (46′ Haworth), 5. Hamza Bencherif (C), 6. Dan Cowan (61′ Trialist), 7. Kaine Felix (61′ Trialist), 8. Prince Ekpolo, 9. Jonathan Wafula (75′ Newall), 10. Andy Kellett (61′ Trialist) and 11. Gabriel Johnson (86′ Gillam).

Subs: 12. Mark Howarth (46′ Trialist), 13. Trialist (GK) (unused), 14. Trialist (61′ Kellett), 15. Trialist (61′ Cowan), 16. Trialist (61′ Felix), 17. Trialist (unused), 18. Matty Gillam (86′ Johnson), 19. Trialist (unused) and 20. Nathan Newall (75′ Wafula).

Next Up:

7:45 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Liversedge vs Guiseley