Lions maintain National League status

Guiseley retained their National League status at the expense of local rivals FC Halifax Town, who could only draw at home to Macclesfield while the Lions edged a nervy 4-3 win over form team Torquay United at Nethermoor.

Adam Smith made a welcome return to the home line-up and Shaun Harrod tested Steven Drench before Oli Johnson latched on to a wayward backheader to lob keeper Brendan Moore after just five minutes. Even better was to follow five minutes later, when Will Hatfield converted Adam Boyes’s cross from close in.

And when Anthony Dudley rounded Moore following superb build-up play by Hatfield and Boyes to net the third on thirty minutes the Lions looked to be cruising, but United came out a revitalised team in the second half and pulled one back through Nathan Blissett only eight minutes in. Tony Ajala then further reduced the arrears on the hour mark leavng the Lions’ survival looking in serious jeopardy.

However, when a visiting player slipped just inside his own half, Boyes threaded a slide-rule pass through for Dudley, who shot wide of Moore to bag his second and the Lions’ fourth.

The visitors were not finished yet though, and Shaun Harrod volleyed in a third to reduce the deficit to a single goal with thirteen minutes left on the clock.

Drench then maintained the home side’s lead with a superb one-handed save to deny Harrod, and it marked the start of a nervy finish for the home fans, exacerbated by five minutes’ stoppage time followed by an agonizing two-minute delay as FC Halifax completed their drawn game against Macclesfield.

The resultant release of tension from the Guiseley supporters capped an emotional roller coaster of an afternoon and a season, leaving the home fans questioning why their team found themselves in this position in the first place.

Mark Bower’s post-match  reaction:

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Avro vs Guiseley