Lions So Near Yet So Far….

The Guiseley management team were quick to ring the changes for the visit to Curzon Ashton on the back of two successive home defeats that have plunged the Lions into the battle to avoid relegation.

And it so nearly worked as the Lions were denied a deserved win courtesy of some desperate last-ditch defending by the home side. And even when they did get the ball in the net the goal was chalked off as Scott Garner was adjudged to have fouled his opponent in the process.

Dylan Barkers. newly arrived from Marcus Bignots old club Solihull Moors, went straight into the centre midfield as Alex Purver was dropped and Will Hatfield reverted to the bench.

Jack Dyche started up front in place of Kayode Odejayi while Josh Langley made a welcome return to partner Garner at the heart of the defence.  Curtis Morrison also started on the left in a three-pronged attack alongside Rowan Liburd and Kaine Felix.

The visitors started strongly but suffered a major setback when ever present left back Niall Heaton was involved in a collision of heads and after a lengthy period of treatment on the pitch was led to the dressing rooms and replaced by Cliff Moyo, George Cantrill switching to the left flank.

Having quickly settled into their stride the visitors took the game to Curzon and a fine move ended with Dyche blazing over before Garner headed home Morrisons corner for what looked like the opener on 16 minutes only for the celebrations to be cut short as the referee signaled for a foul on the Guiseley captains maker who appeared to have made no challenge for the ball.

Dyche was then in action down the other end as he produced a timely clearance as Ashton threatened and Marcus Dewhurst pulled of a confident stop from a well taken free kick.

The critical moment came after 25 minutes when completely against the run of play The Nash went ahead through Lewis Reilly after Dewhurst had got a hand to Oliver Crankshaws curling shot but was then unable to prevent the home number nine netting the loose ball.

After this setback Guiseley virtually laid siege to the home goal and through a succession of corners without being able to get the vital breakthrough even though Morrison saw his effort blocked and then saw his second effort go just wide after he had reacted with a snap-shot.

Straight from the restart the Lions were back on the offensive as debutant Barkers shot was cleared off the line by Joel Senior and Andy Hall’s follow-up was deflected round the post for yet another corner.

Home keeper Cameron Mason denied Liburd as he stuck out his left legend Halls blazed over from a good position when a little more composure was called for.

Academy product Aleksanders Starchenko made his debut  in place of Barkers and nearly crowned his first appearance with a lob on to the roof of the net ;leaving Mason merely a spectator on 72 minutes.

Having deliver a thoroughly compelling performance Morris on was replaced y Hatfield with eleven minutes remaining but despite almost relentless pressure the Lions were unable to craft an opening although Felix nearly squared matters after going past three defenders only for Mason to smother his effort in the last minute of the game.

Team:

1 Dewhurst

2 Cantrill

3 Heaton

4 Halls

5 Langley

6 Garner

7 Felix

8 Barkers

9 Liburd

10 Dyche

11 Morrison

Subs:

12 Moyo

14 Starchenko

15 Hatfield

16 Clayton

17 Odejayi

Next Up:

7:45 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Liversedge vs Guiseley