Clinical Rothery clicks for Lions as Harrogate Town pay penalty

Gavin Rothery.
Gavin Rothery.
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Penalties were key as Harrogate Town were defeated 3-2 by Guiseley in an action-packed match in Skrill North at the CNG.

Four spot kicks were awarded but while Town squandered theirs, a perfect three out of three from Gavin Rothery proved decisive.

The start of the match saw Town being the more aggressive side going forward as boss Simon Weaver encouraged his players to push up the pitch.

But chances for the hosts were few and far between and Guiseley took the lead with their second attack when Luke Parkin turned in the area and was brought down by Matt Bloomer.

Rothery hit the penalty straight down the middle as ‘keeper Craig MacGillivray went to his right.

But soon after Town were level when Shane Killock was in the right place from a free-kick as the ball fell to him and he was able to get the ball past Guiseley keeper Steve Drench and into the net.

The goals didn’t stop there as Guiseley soon retook the lead when Killock handled the ball while on the ground with Alex Johnson set to score.

Rothery got his second as he aimed his penalty to the right and past MacGillivray.

Then, on the brink of half-time, Town thought they had equalised but Drench was clearly pushed to the ground before the ball went in.

The beginning of the second half saw Town get a penalty of their own when Jake Lawlor caught Chris Hall in the area.

However, Adam Bolder was unable to beat Drench who dived the right way and kept the away side in the lead.

Despite that miss, halfway through the second half Town equalised again when Steve Mallory headed from the back post.

But unbelievably Guiseley gained their third penalty when Johnson was brought down by MacGillivray.

Rothery again scored to get his hat-trick to seal victory and a psychological advantage ahead of the return fixture at Nethermoor Park on New Year’s Day.

Disappointed Town manager Simon Weaver reasoned: “It’s unusual to concede so many penalties, but I feel this game was a passionate affair and a good game.”

But jubilant Guiseley manager Mark Bower said: “I’m pleased with how we defended, it’s three more points and keeps the run going. “

Guiseley next host Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow while Town travel to Vauxhall Motors.

Elsewhere in Skrill North yesterday, Bradford Park Avenue endured more frustration as they fell to a 4-1 loss at Stockport County. A Paul Beesley strike was in vain for Avenue who have now lost five in a row. Avenue return to action tomorrow at North Ferriby United.

In Skrill Premier, FC Halifax Town took a 1-1 draw from their trip to Gateshead.

Matt Pearson gave the Shaymen a 26th-minute lead but Jamie Chandler levelled for the hosts 12 minutes after the break.

Neil Aspin’s Halifax return to action tomorrow at home to Lincoln City.

Conference: Cambridge 1 Braintree 0, Dartford 1 Welling 2, Tamworth 1 Nuneaton 1, Lincoln City 0 Grimsby 2, Barnet 1 Luton 2, Forest Green 3 Aldershot 1, Gateshead 1 Halifax 1, Kidderminster 2 Hereford 1, Macclesfield 3 Hyde 0, Southport 0 Chester 0, Woking 1 Salisbury 3, Wrexham 2 Alfreton 3.

Conference North: Altrincham 5 Stalybridge Celtic 0, Boston United 0 Histon 0, Brackley Town 1 Leamington 1, Colwyn Bay 1 Vauxhall Motors 0, Harrogate Town 2 Guiseley 3, Hednesford Town 3 Telford 3, Oxford City 1 Gloucester City 0, Solihull Moors 1 Worcester City 1, Stockport 4 Bradford Park Avenue 1, Workington 2 Barrow 3.

Conference fixtures: Shay to host Halifax’s first derby with Lions