Lions Leave Their Fightback Too Late

A difficult second half spell meant condemned Guiseley to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Worksop Town at Nethermoor, writes Cayden Sands.

Despite a late flurry, this result ends the Lions’ play off hopes mathematically and means they have nothing to play for in their final game of the season away to Workington, whilst Worksop will have it all to play for in their last game.

The game began in a scrappy fashion as both sides looked to gain some early superiority, with a yellow card for Reece Kendall after a tackle on Jay Rollins being a quick talking point.

Soon after, the Lions’ defence would be opened up after a free kick from Aaron Chapman travelled up the pitch and found its way to Vaughan Redford, allowing the midfielder to poke the ball past Ollie Battersby from five yards out and give the Tigers a 9th minute lead.

Despite going behind, the hosts continued to struggle to string a move together and looked to have no answers for their visitors, who managed to come close on a couple of other occasions, including a header from former Lion Liam Hughes.

Guiseley eventually sprang to life and had their best moment of the game in the 22nd minute after Kofi Moore found possession of the ball and managed to square it to the feet of a waiting Gabriel Johnson inside the box, but he would unluckily miss it in front of an open net before it would be cleared for an insignificant corner.

The Lions continued to show some glimmers of hope and began to limit Worksop’s chances compared to the early minutes, a fact that nearly yielded a reward when a promising free kick in the 31st minute was initially cleared away by the Tigers defence before falling back to Ollie Brown, who unleashed an impressive long shot that was dipping in, only to be turned over by Chapman.

As half time approached, the game’s scrappy nature yielded itself again, with Jameel Ible seeing yellow for a tackle on Terry Hawkridge that angered the visitors and had them hoping for more, but in amongst this was continually improving display from the hosts that saw some more half chances, but no product.

Moore continued to influence many of Guiseley’s better moments and was a bright spark in a difficult first half, with this being summed up after the winger did well to outmuscle his marker in the 43rd minute before managing to release a promising effort towards goal that Chapman managed to deal with in what would be the half’s point of note, allowing both sides to go into the dressing rooms with both them still having something to strive for after the break.

The second half began on an even footing and retained the first half’s theme of frequent half chances, though both sides would also trade big moments within two minutes of one another after another former Lion in the form of Hamza Bencherif found a good effort just go wide inside the box, before Callum Chippendale had a long ranged effort suffer a similar fate.

However, Worksop had a glorious chance reveal itself out of nowhere in the 53rd minute that allowed Rollins to speed into the box with no defenders around him before calmly slotting the ball past Battersby and into the bottom corner to double the Tigers’ lead, a gutting blow for the Lions after their promising moments earlier in the game.

The hosts’ misery would be compiled just two minutes later when another defensive lapse left Jordan Burrow open at the far post after an initial effort, with the forward volleying the rebound into the net and silencing Nethermoor in the process, with the home supporters having watched their team completely collapse in such a short space of time.

Another goal was added in the 65th minute when despite calls for a foul on Kallan Murphy, these weren’t heard, allowing the visitors to counter and leave an unmarked Burrow to earn his brace with another good strike, further adding to Guiseley’s woes and signalling many supporters to head for an early exit.

Murphy did get a chance at redemption in the 71st minute, having a promising shot at goal following a header into his path from substitute Tom Denton, but this was easily picked up by Chapman.

The Irishman would produce the Lions’ best chance of the half in the 81st minute after the game’s quietest spell, latching onto a long ball from the hosts’ penalty box before charging into the Tigers’ own box and rounding Chapman, but Murphy hesitated and was unable to convert the opportunity after finding his shot deflected out, with the corner leading to nothing.

Guiseley’s moments of persistence would finally yield a reward in the 86th minute when Denton would perform one of his trademark flick ons to the path of Tom Pratt inside the area, allowing the substitute to comfortably put his shot past Chapman and into the net, giving the Lions something to shout about in an otherwise difficult game.

The hosts would find another soon after following a corner, with them winning a corner that would be converted by the head of Chippendale and give Guiseley some slight hope of a late comeback.

The comeback however would not come, with Worksop managing to consolidate and hold out for a deserved victory on the day that leaves the Lions with nothing to play for at Workington on Saturday.

Guiseley AFC 2-4 Worksop Town | Tuesday 23rd April 2024 | Nethermoor

Attendance: 418

Team:  1. Ollie Battersby, 2. Ollie Brown, 3. Reece Kendall, 4. Leigh Whelan, 5. Josh Ashman, 6. Jameel Ible, 7. Kofi Moore (64′ Ekpolo), 8. Callum Chippendale, 9. Kallan Murphy, 10. Gabriel Johnson (46′ Denton) and 11. Adam Dawson (73′ Pratt).

Subs: 12. Prince Ekpolo, 14. Luke Mariette, 15. Michael Afuye, 16. Tom Denton and 17. Tom Pratt.

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