Lions Fly Into The Hat

Guiseley secured a passage through to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup after emerging victorious against underdogs Avro FC, writes Cayden Sands.

The game started with the visitors on the front foot on their big day, threatening the Guiseley defence and winning some early set-pieces, but these would come to nothing, though they also sent a clear message to the Lions that Avro would be no pushover.

The home side took around 10 minutes to grow into the game, with the likes of Jake Cassidy and Donald Chimalilo making the visitors’ defence work, the latter laying off a low cross to Jerome Greaves, but his effort in the penalty area flew well over the net, failing to trouble Avro keeper Grant Shenton.

Avro would recover well after this scare, getting their attacking play going with the influence of a so far impressive Michael Afuye who was beating several of the Guiseley defenders with strong ball control, though this would end in a headed pass from Adam Owen leading to a Liam Ellis volley that bounced and rolled slowly past the Guiseley goal in the 16th minute.

The visitors would capitalise on their momentum and take the lead on 21 minutes thanks to Ellis, who had the ball laid off to him by Owen inside the penalty area, leading to Ellis beating his man and slotting the ball past Kyle Trenerry and into the bottom right-hand corner, giving Avro a shock lead.

Guiseley struggled to recover from the setback, with the team looking half-asleep at points and them being bullied off the ball frequently by an Avro side who clearly wanted it more at this stage, especially with them having the lead.

An injury to Greaves for the Lions led to the deployment of the highly rated Nat Crofts in his place, with Guiseley getting forward following this substitution, leading to a free-kick from Andy Kellett that beat the wall but failed to threaten Shenton.

The home side’s forward momentum would continue, though they failed to capitalise on an almost certain equaliser after Crofts squared the ball into the path of both Chimalilo and John Johnston, but neither man was able to connect with the ball in front of what was an open net on 39 minutes.

Johnston failed to shoot in a one-on-one situation against Shenton after receiving the ball from a so far influential Crofts, meaning half-time would arrive with Avro 45 minutes away from an FA Cup fairytale that the Lions would need a much improved performance to prevent.

Guiseley started the second-half in style, equalising thanks to Cassidy on 46 minutes, who headed home Chimalilo’s chipped cross from close-range to easily beat Shenton and give the Lions a much needed boost for the rest of the half.

The Lions though they’d taken the lead nine minutes later after Shenton dropped a corner that fell to the chest of Jameel Ible and deflected in, but referee Lee Hible saw an infringement during the run of play that prevented Guiseley from taking an, at the time, deserved lead.

As the game hit the hour mark, it became a feisty affair with Shenton seeing yellow for an incident with Guiseley substitute Adam Haw, whilst Jorge Sikora would be booked for the home side for pulling the shirt of Afuye, a real indication of the lengths both teams were willing to go to in order to get a result.

The Lions were back on the attack on 65 minutes, the ball finding its way into the box and to the head of Haw who nodded it down to Ethan Cartwright, but the defender’s effort spun further away from the net than intended, relieving an Avro side who looked like they didn’t know what had hit them in the second-half.

The nerves of the home crowd were relieved on 68 minutes thanks to Johnston, who took advantage of Guiseley winning a free-kick from a difficult angle, with him managing to curl the ball into the top-right corner, sending Nethermoor Park into pandemonium and completing a much expected comeback.

The Lions nearly sealed victory on 77 minutes after Haw broke with pace and attempted to slot the ball into the bottom left-hand corner, but his low shot was scooped up by Shenton, leading to an Avro counter-attack that almost produced an equaliser, if not for a superb Kyle Trenerry save after a powerful free-kick from Jake Cottrell.

Avro thought they had an equaliser with five minutes left, after a mistake from Sikora led to Ethan Sutcliffe laying the ball off to Kyle Jacobs, but the forward over hit his shot and it flew over the bar, making him fall to his knees and allowing Guiseley some much-needed breathing room.

The Lions would hold on through a long added-time period to secure a hard-fought victory over an Avro side who can hold their heads high after a battling performance and a record-breaking Emirates FA Cup run.

Danny Ellis’ side travel up to South Shields on Tuesday night and will find out their Emirates FA Cup second round qualifying opponents on Monday.

Guiseley 2-1 Avro | Saturday 3rd September 2022 | Nethermoor Park

Attendance: 362

Team: 1. Kyle Trenerry, 2. Ethan Cartwright, 3. Jameel Ible, 4. Luke Dean, 5. Spencer Harris, 6. Jorge Sikora, 7. John Johnston, 8. Andy Kellett (46′ Haw), 9. Jake Cassidy (C), 10. Jerome Greaves (35′ Crofts) and 11. Donald Chimalilo (84′ Hey).

Subs: 12. Adam Haw, 14. Lewis Hey, 15. Nat Crofts, 16. Eddy Prata, 17. Jonny Haase, 18. Lewis Gardner and 19. Danny Ellis.

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7:45 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Avro vs Guiseley