Battling Guiseley defy odds to kick clear of drop zone

Will Hatfield.
Will Hatfield.
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GUISELEY kicked six points clear of the National League drop zone with Saturday’s comeback 2-1 victory at fourth-bottom Torquay United, despite finishing the game with ten men.

The Lions have now won four out of their last five games and sit 17th in the table after recording back-to-back wins for only the third time this season.

Jake Cassidy.

Jake Cassidy.

Guiseley began brightly in Saturday’s game at Plainmoor with Jordan Preston releasing Kevan Hurst whose cross was cleared.

Play was then stopped for eight minutes when referee Simon Barrow went down with an ankle injury and had to come off after receiving treatment.

Teenage Guiseley fan Josh Brayshaw – a rising star within the West Riding County FA referees set-up – was then drafted in as fourth official, still wearing his jeans.

When play resumed in the 24th minute, Guiseley’s Jake Cassidy had a great chance straight from the restart but fired straight at goalkeeper Brendan Moore.

And Torquay took advantage by taking a 25th-minute lead when Aman Verma’s strike from 30 yards was saved by Lions goalkeeper Jonny Maxted but only into the path of Verma whose follow up attempt eventually crossed the line after hitting both posts.

Guiseley’s task was then made even harder seven minutes after the break when Jake Lawlor was sent off after picking up a second yellow for a foul on Daniel Sparkes as the winger got past him.

But 12 minutes later Jake Cassidy was able to bring the Lions back into the match when a cross hit him on the back of the head, allowing Cassidy to control his initial touch and steer the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Things then got even better for the Lions when Will Hatfield chested a bouncing ball down inside the Torquay box after the Gulls had failed to clear properly and steered a neat effort home for the game’s winning goal 18 minutes from time. The victory followed Tuesday night’s 1-0- success at home to play-off chasing Barrow.

Delighted Guiseley boss Adam Lockwood said: “We knew it would be a tough game.

“We went down to 10 men and it was not a classic performance but we’ve had two tough games and have gained maximum points. We prepared well and showed great heart.”

Guiseley are back in action next Saturday at sixth-placed Aldershot Town.

In National League North, Harrogate Town shared a thrilling 3-3 draw with runaway leaders AFC Fylde.

Simon Ainge bagged a hat-trick for hosts Town who led 3-2 with three minutes left when Matty Hughes equalised.

Town now sit ninth and five points off the play-offs ahead of Saturday’s trip to 11th-placed Gloucester City – who obliged 1-0 at fifth-bottom Bradford Park Avenue at the weekend after Zachary Kotwica’s 55th-minute winner. Avenue are back in action on Saturday at home to FC Halifax Town who sit fifth after Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to 15th-placed Boston United. The Shaymen visit sixth-bottom Alfreton Town tomorrow night.

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EVO-STIK LEAGUE

ADAM Clayton bagged a 91st-minute winner as Farsley Celtic closed in on the Evo-Stik League’s First Division North top spot with a thrilling 5-4 victory at Hyde United.

Jordan Deacey fired the second-placed Celts ahead after just two minutes but mid-table Hyde rallied to lead 2-1 after 55 minutes. Efforts from Matthew Beadle and Kyle Harrison suddenly had the hosts in front but Christopher Howarth then levelled for Farsley six minutes after the hour.

Gutsy Hyde hit back again as Janni Lipka had them 3-2 up with 20 minutes remaining but Farsley again replied with an 84th-minute penalty from Richard Marshall and then led through an 87th-minute strike from Aiden Savory. But after Lawrance Hunter had made it 4-4 in the 90th-minute, Clayton struck the final blow for Farsley in the second minute of injury time.

Farsley then learned that leaders Lancaster City had been chinned 3-2 by visiting Brighouse Town, who are up to eigth. It means the Celts now trail Lancaster by just six points and with three games in hand.

Lancaster fell behind in the third minute against Brighouse as Tom Haigh netted but late first-half strikes from Craig Carney and Thomas Killifin still had Lancaster leading 2-1 at the break. But Haigh’s second strike levelled matters three minutes before the hour and Ben Atkinson then bagged a dramatic winning goal in the third minute of injury time.

Ossett Town, who sit fourth, saw their trip to Bamber Bridge postponed.

Ossett Albion moved up to 15th and 12 points clear of the bottom two with a 3-1 triumph at home to Colwyn Bay who dropped to 17th.

Ross Hardaker fired Albion into an 18th-minute lead but Colwyn Bay finally equalised in the 72nd minute through Gareth Grant. But Albion’s James Eyles hit back just two minutes later and Isaac Baldwin then made it 3-1 with ten minutes to go.

Tadcaster Albion fell to 16th and sit 11 points off the bottom two after a 1-0 loss at home to tenth-placed Ramsbottom United whose Lee Gaskell hit a 79th-minute winner.

In the Premier Division, Frickley Athletic sit sixth-bottom after slipping to a 1-0 loss at home to 11th-placed Hednesford Town whose Daniel Glover netted three minutes from time.

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NCE LEAGUE

ASHLEY FLYNN fired in a rapid hat-trick as AFC Emley closed the gap at the top of Division One of the NCE League with a 4-1 success at home to Campion.

As part of a weather disrupted Saturday afternoon, eighth-placed Campion looked on course for victory at Emley when Eli Hey gave the visitors a 24th-minute lead.

But Jordan Corduri equalised with a penalty four minutes after the break before Flynn struck a 35-minute treble.

Flynn notched in the 52nd, 62nd and 87th minute to put second-placed Emley six points behind leaders Pontefract Collieries whose home clash with Brigg Town was one of the many games cancelled.

Seventh-placed Knaresborough Town moved one point off the play-offs with a 4-0 victory at sixth-bottom Ollerton Town.

Knaresborough’s Brad Walker, James Bradley, Fraser Lancaster and Colin Heath all netted a goal each.

Selby Town, who sit 12th, lost out 2-1 at Winterton Rangers, despite taking a third-minute lead through Wayne Brook. Paul Grimes equalised 16 minutes later and Andrew Harrison then hit the game’s winning goal three minutes after the hour.

In the Premier, second-placed Pickering Town rescued a 1-1 draw thanks to Samuel Denton’s 89th-minute intervention at 16th-placed Maltby Main. The hosts led after Ryan Carroll’s strike in the 22nd minute. Pickering are seven points behind leaders Cleethorpes Town who have a game in hand.

Ossett Town's Alex Peterson, left, netted against Solihull Moors.

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