Lions Miss Golden Opportunity To Close The Gap At The Bottom

This was a game that Guiseley should have won but two defensive blunders allowed Curzon Ashton to twice come from behind and take a share of the points at Nethermoor this afternoon.  Read how the drama unfolded in our match report sponsored by BuildADrive.com.

The Lions got off to the best possible start after just six minutes when a slick move down the right ended with John Johnston teeing up a header that Adam Haw directed across Chris Renshaw and into the far corner.

Eleven minutes later and Curzon were awarded a corner which Owen Mason lept high to collect in a crowded penalty area and in doing so bundled into skipper Hamza Bencherif and an opponent.

But it was the youngsters reaction as he ran gesticulating towards the home dugout that caused most concern and to their credit the two trainers were on the pitch in no time as Bencherif was obviously in trouble.

After a call had gone out over the PA for anyone with medical training to assist the big defender was attended by several individuals as the referee took the shocked players off to the dressing rooms.

After an agonizing wait of fifteen minutes he was stretchered to a round of applause from both sets of supporters and, although clearly still in some difficulty, the Guiseley Captain managed to match the applause as he was carried off and after sometime in the dressing room he was transferred to a waiting ambulance to hospital. However there is some good news as Hamza, having suffered concussion, was released from hospital late on Saturday evening having has sent his thanks to both clubs.

The game eventually resumed on 32 minutes and another enterprising move nearly ended with a second goal for the Lions but Johnston’s shot was the wrong side of the post and into the side netting.

Former Lions striker Craig Hobson had a chance to square matters but put his header just wide and then some wayward defending saw the visitors hit the post just before the delayed halftime whistle sounded.

The home side couldn’t impose themselves on the game on the restart and manager Steve Kittrick sent on Jamie Spencer, who was returning from injury, in place of Ethan Cartwright on 61 minutes and ten minutes later Andy Kellett made way for Dom Tear.

The effect was almost immediate but perhaps not in the way that the Guiseley Manager had envisaged as Mason spilt a catch from a free kick leaving Alex Curran with the easiest of chances to equalize on 74 minutes.

The response was immediate though as the ball was switched from the left to the right flank and although the low cross missed Haw,  Tear was on hand to sweep the ball home at the far post with only his second touch of the game on 75 minutes.

However, not having learnt their lesson the Lions conceded a corner thirteen minutes later and despite several opportunities to clear the ball from the six yard box a scamble at the far post ended with Thomas Peers restoring parity.

In the closing minutes Guiseley were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area which Haw took only to see his effort fly high and wide and the chance of a third goal and a vital win was gone.

The draw leaves the Lions still at the foot of the table with 32 points but still two adrift of Telford on 34 points and four behind Farsley and Blyth who are both on 36 points with three games to play.

What this all adds up to is that the latter two need six points from their remaining games to put themselves mathematically beyond the Lions,  whilst Telford need to win all three games and then rely on a better goal difference should Guiseley also win their three remaining games.

Attendance: 496

Team: 1. Owen Mason, 2. Regan Hutchinson, 3. Thierry Latty-Fairweather, 4. George Cantrill, 5. Hamza Bencherif (C) (32′ Hollins), 6. Jason Sraha, 7. Andy Kellett (70′ Tear), 8. Ethan Cartwright, (61′ Spencer) 9. Adam Haw, 10. John Johnston and 11. Lebrun Mbeka.  Subs: 12. Andy Hollins, 13. Scott Moloney (GK), 14. Dom Tear, 15. Jamie Spencer and 16. Shaun Tuton.

Images from today’s game

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