Boss Bower defends disputed equaliser

Mark Bower.
Mark Bower.
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Guiseley gained a valuable point in their quest for National League survival through a contentious equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to play-off chasing Braintree Town.

The Lions grabbed the leveller after the ball had been put out of play due to an injury to Braintree’s Michael Cheek.

The throw-in fell to Oliver Norburn who sent a long, looping ball back to the Braintree ’keeper who was on the edge of his area and found himself lobbed from near the half-way line.

Guiseley chief Mark Bower said: “The goal is a grey area, we will grab a lot of attention for this. It was a tough call.”

But Braintree’s Dan Cowley fumed, saying: “This is the worst thing I have seen on a football pitch.”

Early on, Cheek hit the side-netting from a tight angle and Simeon Akinola fired wide a half-volley before Norburn forced a flying save from Tom King with a shot from 20 yards.

The hosts then had an effort cleared off the line when Nicky Boshell’s shot was smartly blocked by Matt Paine.

Braintree, though, took the lead just before half-time when Cheek was put through and calmly placed the ball past goalkeeper Dan Atkinson.

Guiseley started well in the second half and should have scored when Norburn, Anthony Dudley and Emile Sinclair led a break but Norburn decided to pass again in the area and Braintree cleared.

The hosts then started pushing men forward with Braintree working on the counter. Akinola should have made it two when played through but Atkinson was brave and got his body in the way. Guiseley sit 18th and six points above the dropzone ahead of Saturday’s hosting of fifth-placed Wrexham.

Elsewhere, FC Halifax Town’s FA Trophy quarter-final with visiting Gateshead ended goalless. The two sides will meet again on Wednesday for a replay. In National League North, Harrogate Town gained ground on leaders Solihull Moors but missed an opportunity to move one point off the top in a goalless draw with Gloucester City at the CNG Stadium.

Solihull’s 2-1 defeat at home to Tamworth opened the door but Town were left frustrated by a stubborn Gloucester.

Brendon Daniels almost stole the points for Town late on with a free-kick but his effort cleared the top of the bar.

Town remain in second, with a three-point gap to Solihull. Both teams have played 30 games and have games in hand on the teams below them.

Town were boosted by results elsewhere with sixth-placed AFC Fylde and fourth-placed North Ferriby United both losing, while third-placed Boston United were held to a 1-1 draw. Town next visit a Nuneaton Town side up to fifth next Saturday. Sixth-bottom Bradford Park Avenue lost out 2-1 at mid-table Curzon Ashton but led after 23 minutes through Callum Chippendale. Daniel Cockerline levelled five minutes later with Niall Cummins hitting a second-half winner. Avenue next welcome third-bottom Corby Town on Wednesday night.

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EIGHTY-NINTH minute drama significantly helped the plight of second-bottom Harrogate Railway amid late frustration for relegation-battling rivals Ossett Town.

Third-bottom Town were heading for victory when leading 2-1 at home to Lancaster City who pulled level in the 89th-minute through Zach Clark.

First-half goals from Alex Peterson and Danny Frost had put Town 2-0 up, but Jacob Gregory’s strike eight minutes after the interval ignited the comeback.

Contrastingly, Rail’ salvaged a 1-1 draw at Northwich Victoria thanks to Jack Stockdill’s 89th-minute equaliser.

Vics led after 66 minutes through Richard Bennett and there remains just two points between the two Yorkshire relegation battlers.

Ossett Albion’s play-off hopes were dealt a blow in a 1-0 loss at Farsley Celtic who themselves remain in the running for a top- five berth.

Jordan Deacey struck a 53rd-minute winner for Farsley who sit tenth and six points behind fifth-placed Burscough.

Albion are one place behind Burscough on goal difference but have played two games more.

Elsewhere, mid-table Brighouse Town lost 2-0 at fifth-placed Glossop North End who netted through a seventh-minute David Young penalty plus a Jamie Rainford strike one minute before the hour.

Scarborough Athletic beat visiting Radcliffe Borough 1-0 thanks to Jamie Forrester’s winner.

In the Premier, Frickley Athletic were downed 1-0 at Barwell whose Alex Tomkinson hit a 66th-minute penalty. A Matthew Waters strike failed to save fourth-bottom hosts Whitby Town from a 3-1 loss to Rushall Olympic.

In First Division South, third-bottom Goole AFC were thumped 4-0 at Spalding United whose Thomas Waumsley hit a hat-trick.

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TADCASTER Albion maintained their two-point lead at the top of the NCE League Premier Division with Saturday’s 2-1 success at home to Barton Town Old Boys.

Strikes from Josh Greening and Gregg Anderson had Albion 2-0 up at the interval before Gareth Barlow set up a nervy finale with his effort 18 minutes from time.

Second-placed Handsworth Parramore won 2-0 at Garforth Town with goals from Kieran Wells and Alex Rippon, while a Chris Adams winner gave third-placed Bridlington Town a 1-0 triumph at fourth-placed Worksop Town.

Brid’ are also two points behind Albion but have played three games more.

Elsewhere, a Ged Dalton double gave Pickering Town a 2-1 triumph at Pontefract Collieries.

Dalton struck after 22 and 63 minutes before Aaron Joseph pulled a late goal back for the hosts.

Rhys Jenkinson gave Liversedge a second-minute lead at Brigg Town but the visitors were ultimately felled 2-1. Matthew Parker levelled after 20 minutes before Paul Grimes hit a 68th-minute winner.

Thackley were also defeated 1-0 at home to Maltby Main whose Ryan Carroll struck after 19 minutes.

Hemsworth Miners Welfare remain 11 points clear at the top of Division One after 2-1 success against fourth-placed visitors Shirebrook Town.

Danny Critchlow and Shane Kelsey put Hemsworth 2-0 up before Jake Currie’s riposte.

Fifth-placed AFC Emley were grateful to Ashley Flynn’s 36th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Winterton Rangers.

Craig Palmer had given the hosts a 14th-minute lead.

A late double from James Popplewell also gave Glasshoughton Welfare a 2-2 draw at Penistone Church.

Penistone led after one minute through Daniel Joynes before Oliver Fearon netted seven minutes before the break.

Nicholas Thompson’s 47th-minute strike gave Selby Town a 1-0 win at home to Eccleshill United but Craig Heard’s second-half effort failed to save Yorkshire Amateur from a 3-1 loss at home to Hallam.

Knaresborough Town shared a goalless draw in an away clash with Hull United that was switched to Knaresborough.

Alex Purver.

Home clash with the Gulls is huge game for Guiseley, admits Alex Purver