Ten Man Lions Triumph At Table Toppers Radcliffe

Guiseley recorded a memorable victory at league leaders Radcliffe as they won 4-3 with 10 men in an thrilling encounter at the Neuven Stadium, writes Edward Robertson.

Manager Andy Welsh was pleased with a brilliant performance, but continues to keep one eye firmly fixed on results. “We need to now foster some consistency. We have to take the positives from today and take them to Saturday, in a tough game at Ashton.”

With the game only five minutes old, Kallan Murphy was bundled to the floor in the penalty box. Referee Joe Moss signalled to the spot and Reece Kendall stepped up to take the kick, firing the ball into the bottom right corner to give the Lions an early lead.

A competitive game quickly turned into a feisty one as Leigh Whelan’s mistimed tackle prompted a furious reaction from Radcliffe. However, the heated scenes between the players cost Guiseley more than the two Lions shirts that were torn in the exchanges. Jameel Ible was singled out to be shown the red card by Moss for his contribution to the situation. Meanwhile, Leigh Whelan and Michael Afuye had to adopt new shirt numbers.

The hosts responded brightly to their turn of fortune. Jude Oyibo’s tricky cross connected with Jordan Hulme’s charging run. Luckily for the Lions, Hulme’s close range volley shaved the crossbar.

Half an hour in, Boro levelled when Lois Maynard capitalised on a defensive mishap to break free on goal. He fired a shot at Oliver Battersby, who reacted smartly and poked it wide with his feet. Unfortunately, it only fell as far as Anthony Dudley. The former Lion swept the ball back into the box and into Hulme who slotted home.

Only three minutes later, divine intervention gifted the hosts a lead. A corner from Josh Hancock caught wind and sailed over the heads of the Lions defenders, rifling into the top corner to make the scoreline 2-1.

The Lions refused to bow to the pressure though. Just before the break Kofi Moore was bundled down in the box to provide Guiseley with their second penalty of the game. Kendall once again confidently stepped up to convincingly dispatch the ball home.

The second half exploded into life from the off when the visitors regained the lead in the first minute. The impressive Prince Ekpolo took control of possession in the middle of the park and threaded it through to Moore. The young loanee curled it across the face of goal dangerously, and into the path of Boro’s Ollie Thornley. Unfortunately for the defender, he inadvertently turned the ball into his own net to gift the Lions the lead.

It got even better for the ten men, ten minutes later. A cross-field pass from Kendall picked out Ollie Brown on the edge of the penalty area. The right back whipped the ball into the box, which was latched onto by Murphy, who knocked the ball into the notch the Lions fourth.

Guiseley could have been out of sight on the eightieth minute when Kendall’s soaring long range effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Radcliffe shot stopper Mateusz Hewelt.

But it proved to be an uncomfortable last ten minutes for travelling fans as Borough grabbed a lifeline. Substitute Luca Navarro took control and rifled the ball into the net from 20 yards.

The Lions would have to endure mounting pressure. As the clock turned to the ninetieth minute Matt Sargent’s close range header towards goal was hurriedly cleared off the line by Luke Mariette as Lions fans anxiously watched the clock.

Guiseley would hold firm though to produce an eye-catching result with a courageous and committed display that will lift the spirits of Lions fans ahead of a crucial period in the season.

Welsh was pleased with his side’s performance. “When we conceded a second straight from a corner, its easy to get dispirited when you think your luck’s down. It’s about showing that willingness to try, and to continue trying.”

Radcliffe 3-4 Guiseley | Saturday 3rd February 2024 | Neuven Stadium

Attendance: 1201

Team: 1. Ollie Battersby, 2. Ollie Brown, 3. Reece Kendall, 4. Leigh Whelan (54′ Johnson), 5. Aiden Walker, 6. Jameel Ible (C), 7. Michael Afuye (36′ Ashman), 8. Prince Ekpolo, 9. Kallan Murphy (88′ Denton), 10. Luke Mariette and 11. Kofi Moore.

Subs: 12. Liam Tongue, 14. Adam Dawson, 15. Tom Denton, 16. Gabriel Johnson and 17. Josh Ashman.

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