Lions on the up

The Lions avoided the dreaded Manager of the Month syndrome and clinched a vital victory over fellow strugglers Maidstone United with goals from Simon Walton and man-of-the-match Michael Rankine.

Truth be told the margin of victory could have been greater but for the efforts of United keeper Lee Worgan and some desperate defending by his defensive colleagues to deny the home side an even more emphatic win.

Elliot Green and the returning Michael Rankine started in place of Danny Lowe and Adam Boyes who were serving one match suspensions resulting from their dismissals at Lincoln on New Year’s Day.

United were the first to threaten as Alex Flisher retrieved a seemingly lost ball and crossed for Kevin Lokko to whip his effort over the bar. Jonathan Maxted then produced a point blank save to deny the same player.

But having soaked up the visitors flying start it was the home side who took the lead just after the half hour when Lee Worgan blocked Jake Cassidy’s initial header but as the ball ran free Jake Wesolowski was tripped in the area and Simon Walton stepped up to convert the spot kick despite Worgan palming his effort on to the post only to see it bounce behind the line.

Lokko put another header over on the restart and Jordan Preston’s shot on the turn was a whisker away from doubling the home sides lead.

Marcus Williams then had a shot blocked before Cassidy’s effort was charged down and Rankine’s lob was collected by the keeper as Guiseley upped the ante but they then suffered a setback when Bobby-Joe Taylor squared matters with a spot kick straight down the middle to beat Maxted.

Worgan pulled off another superb stop with a one handed save to deny Cassidy as Manager Adam Lockwood sought to liven things up replacing Preston with Joel Logan.

Williams produced a telling block as the visitors sought to build on their equaliser but were pegged back when Will Hatfield’s shot was blocked and the energetic midfielder crossed low for Rankine to sweep home from twelve yards on 80 minutes.

Cassidy was once again denied as his header bounced back off the bar and despite a flurry of Maidstone corners at the end the home side held out to stretch their home unbeaten run to eight games and move to within one point of safety.

Team:
26 Maxted
33 Green
20 Williams
24 Walton
2 Brown
15 Palmer
8 Hatfield
31 Wesolowski
29 Cassidy
11 Rankine
19 Preston(Logan 70)

Subs:
4 Vidal
6 Lawlor
10 Johnson
17 Atkinson
32 Logan

Post match reaction:

Adam Lockwood

Michael Rankine

Jake Cassidy

Next Up:

7:45 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Liversedge vs Guiseley