Reece Thompson earns Guiseley an opening day point against Ebbsfleet

Reece Thompson.
Reece Thompson.
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Guiseley played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Ebbsfleet United as they gained a point in their opening National League fixture of the campaign.

The match was played at a high tempo from the off, with both sides doing well in possession and creating chances.

John Rooney.

John Rooney.

Ebbsfleet almost took the lead when Sam Magri had a free header in area, but Guiseley goalkeeper Jonny Maxted did well to turn it over the bar.

Guiseley took the lead thanks to a superb goal from John Rooney who fired his strike on the volley from 20 yards out into the top corner after good work by Kevan Hurst.

Rooney nearly got his and Guiseley’s second when his free-kick on the edge of the area was well saved by Ebbsfleet stopper Nathan Ashmore.

Ebbsfleet started the second 45 minutes like the first but this time got a goal as a reward for their good play – a smart bit of play by Luke Coulson opened the Guiseley defence up and Myles Weston was there to tap the ball in.

The visitors soon took the lead when Darren McQueen beat the offside trap when a ball over the top found him and he slotted an effort into the far right hand corner of the net.

Guiseley looked like they had lost momentum but a fine shot by Frank Mulhern was tipped on to the post and the ball eventaully fell to Reece Thompson who equalised from a few yards out.

Both sides pushed for a winner but in the end a draw was the fair result as neither side deserved to start off with a defeat.

Lions manager Adam Lockwood took positives from what he had seen.

He said: “I thought it was a good game against tough opposition. It was played in the right way, was end to end and we can take a lot of good things from this.

“It was always going to be a tough test for us. It is nice to get that first point on the board.”

Meanwhile, FC Halifax Town began life back in the National League with a defeat as they lost 2-0 at home to Aldershot.

Shamir Fenelon’s goal after an hour and James Rowe’s late penalty handed the Shots a deserved win on the opening day, as Town competed well enough but were outplayed by the visitors.

Elsewhere, in National North Harrogate Town enjoyed an emphatic 4-0 win over Nuneaton at The CNG Stadium.

A George Thomson first-half header put Town ahead, before Jordan Thewlis’ second-half brace put Town out of sight.

Last season’s top scorer Simon Ainge was unlucky to see his header bounce back off the bar earlier on, but then added to the scoreline with an 82nd-minute penalty to finish the scoring.

Bradford Park Avenue won on the opening day for seven years thanks to a late 1-0 victory at Tamworth.

Adam Boyes netted in the 97th minute after good work from Wayne Brooksby as Mark Bower’s men continued last season’s habit of scoring late winners.

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Harrogate Railway recovered from 2-0 down to clinch a remarkable 4-3 victory at Thackley in the FA Cup extra preliminary round on Saturday.

An own goal by Ryan Bassi just after the half-time interval and a Joseph Hughes goal put Thackley 2-0 up but three goals in 11 minutes from Elliott Williams (2) and Michael O’Connell put Railway 3-2 up.

George Eustance looked to have earned the hosts a replay with goal seven minutes from time but Luke Stewart’s goal on 88 minutes won it for Railway.

A brace from Lewis Taylor helped Pickering Town claim a 3-0 victory at Billingham Town. Alex Robinson netted the other goal for the Pikes.

Pontefract Collieries moved into the next round thanks to a 1-0 home victory over Alsager Town. Vaughan Redford netted the winner on the half-hour mark.

Armthorpe Welfare and Liversedge will have to try again tomorrow night in a replay after their match ended 1-1 on Saturday.

Roy Fogarty gave Liversedge the lead after 29 minutes before William Ramsay equalised on 65 minutes.

Elsewhere, Hemsworth Miners Welfare were defeated 2-0 at Runcorn Linnets, Garforth Town slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Sunderland RCA and AFC Emley were beaten 3-0 at home to Burscough.

In the Northern Counties East League Division One, Knaresborough Town scored all three goals in a 2-1 victory over Nostell Miners Welfare.

Blaine Hobson and Brad Walker put Town 2-0 up with only 20 minutes on the clock and the home side held on for victory despite Gregg Anderson’s own goal on 58 minutes.

In the other local derby of the day, Glasshoughton Welfare were 1-0 winners at Selby Town. Thomas Coyles scored the winning goal on 21 minutes.

Striker Ashley Flynn bagged a brace for his new club as Yorkshire Amateur drew 3-3 with Eccleshill United.

Luke Harrop netted twice for United before Flynn hit back with two goals of his own. Luke Sharry then made it 3-2 to Amateur with a goal on the hour mark before Jonathan Irving equalised with two minutes left to play.

Guiseley spot stopper Jonny Maxted. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Non-League: Guiseley goalkeeper Maxted spot on with mind games