Game of two halves

Guiseley went down to only their second defeat of the campaign after surrendering a 3-1 half time advantage to FC Halifax Town in a pulsating West Yorkshire derby at Nethermoor in front of the season’s largest crowd to date, 897.

The Lions got off to the best possible start with two goals in the opening eight minutes. First, Alex Davidson’s powerful shot from 22 yards squirmed out of keeper Simon Eastwood’s arms on to the post and over the line and then Simon Baldry’s header put Gavin Rothery in behind the Shaymen’s defence and he fired high into the net past Eastwood.

Joe O’Neill questions his harsh sending-off

Stung by this opening salvo, Halifax gradually regained their composure and pulled one back on 27 minutes when home keeper Steve Drench matched his Halifax counterpart and spilled a simple catch, gifting Lee Gregory a chance he could not miss.

Baldry then shot straight at Eastwood before Lee Ellington escaped his two markers and pulled the ball back for Rothery to bundle home a close-range header on the stroke of half time.

Whatever was said in the respective dressing rooms saw Town take the game by the scruff of the neck from the outset of the second period and their dominance paid dividends on 51 minutes as Danny Ellis turned former Guiseley midfielder Liam Needham’s ball across the area into his own net.

Four minutes later the visitors were level, with Terry Dixon stooping to head home at the near post from a corner. Worse was to come on 66 minutes when Lee Gregory bagged his second to complete the visitors’ comeback.

In between times former Lions favourite Ryan Toulson should have been dismissed for a reckless challenge on Burns, but when substitute Joe O’Neill challenged Liam Hogan for a header the visiting centre back went down like a wounded stag and the Guiseley striker was promptly dismissed for allegedly leading with his elbow. To add insult to injury, referee Chris Kavanagh then waved away home claims for a spot kick as Baldry was clearly hauled to the ground just as he was about to shoot.

So not a good night for the Lions, who still retain third place in the table but now travel to Gainsborough on Saturday to face a side who are just one point and one place behind them.

Manager Steve Kittrick said after the game: ”We’ve gotta learn from it, no point dwelling on it. They had nothing to lose after Saturday, and anything they got here would have been a bonus, so good luck to them. I felt that they deserved it overall on their display”

‘They (the players) care about what we do, we’ve a great set and it’s a great club. On tonight I’m disappointed but not surprised by the result.”

“We’ve gotta go there (Gainsborough) on Saturday and get a result which I’m sure we will, it’s just tonight was a little bit of a hiccup.”

Team

1  Drench

2 Clarke

3  Merris

4  Burns (cautioned)

5  Ellis (OG 51)

6  Bower

7  Baldry  (cautioned) (Ainge 78)

8  Toner

9  Ellington

10 Davidson (A) 2 (O’Neill 62)

11 Rothery 8, 45 (Allott 78)

12 Ainge

14 O’Neill (sent off)

15 Davidson (P)

16 Allott

18 Giles

Next Up:

3:00 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Guiseley vs Huddersfield Town