FA Trophy: Frustrated Lions still in the hat for the next round

Will Hatfield
Will Hatfield
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Guiseley are still in the hat for the FA Trophy draw.

However, the Lions should have won their clash against Dover Athletic on Saturday to avoid a replay.

Mark Bower’s side conceded late on which meant they fell to a late 2-2 draw away from home.

Duane Ofori-Acheampong dealt the late blow to Guiseley, firing the ball into the back of the net after a corner kick to make the 275 mile journey home seem all the longer.

The Guiseley players entered the game wearing black armbands in tribute to supporters secretary Craig Shearstone, who sadly passed away before the game.

The visitors created the better chances from the off.

James Hurst placed a cross perfectly into the penalty area, and only a Richard Orlu clearance stopped the ball from falling to the Guiseley attackers, waiting and ready to pounce, saving a certain goal.

However, the pressure soon told. Guiseley took the lead just before half-time when Dover failed to clear a corner.

The ball fell to midfielder Will Hatfield, who fired the ball cleanly and straight into the corner of the goal.

Emile Sinclair then nearly had a telling impact within 45 minutes of making his debut. The last chance of the half saw the York City loanee lead a counter attack. He found Gavin Rothery, but his effort went narrowly wide.

Dover started the second half with a chance of their own, Ricky Miller headed just over Steven Drench’s goal.

The hosts then nearly grabbed an equaliser.

Nick Deverdics aimed a corner, but Drench in the Guiseley net was fortunate to see the ball hit the crossbar and go out of play.

It was a sign of things to come. Dover got their goal when Jack Parkinson was found by Sean Raggett. Parkinson was able to fire the ball past Drench.

There was almost a perfect response from Guiseley. Sinclair put the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside as Liam Dickinson, who had interfered in play, was ahead of the defence.

Guiseley did, however, regain the lead. Dover goalkeeper Andy Rafferty chose to punch an effort away from his net. The ball fell straight to Rothery, who calmly finished to seemingly win the game for the Lions.

It was not to be. With only moments to go, Ofori-Acheampong hit the equaliser to send the tie to a replay.

Elsewhere, the FA Trophy third-round tie between FC Halifax Town and Chester was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

It will now take place on February 9.

Bradford Park Avenue’s game against Corby was also postponed due to the rain.

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A downpour of rain on Saturday left Yorkshire’s Evo-Stik fixtures in tatters, with only two matches taking place.

Only Farsley Celtic and Stocksbridge Park Steels of the sides in God’s Own County were able to put on and complete their fixtures.

Farsley climbed up the First Division North table with a 0-0 draw against Burscough away from home.

Celtic are now seventh on goal difference in the Evo-Stik league’s second-tier.

Burscough, in fifth-place, were unable to break down Farsley.

The visitors had goalkeeper Tom Taylor to credit with the important point.

Taylor’s concentration was superb. He foiled Alex Honeyball with a crucial late save to secure the point.

The goalless scoreline belied the fact that both teams created chance after chance in the wet conditions, with neither side able to apply the finishing touch to secure all three points.

Stocksbridge climbed up to ninth place in the First Division South with a 2-0 home win against Chasetown, who are sixth in the league.

The Sheffield-based side were fortunate that the game managed to reach a conclusion.

At one point in the game play had to be suspended after huge hailstones pelted Bracken Moor.

Stocksbridge’s two goals came from strikers Joe Lumsden and Scott Ruthven.

Lumsden broke the deadlock with half an hour on the clock before Ruthven wrapped up the tie by doubling his side’s advantage in the 76th minute.

The victory meant Stocksbridge moved to within five points of fifth-placed Spalding.

That could bode well for the rest of the campaign, with the Steels having five games in-hand on Spalding.

The postponements benefited Whitby Town, who remained outside the bottom four in the Premier Division.

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Jonathan Greening may have become the most high profile addition in the Northern Counties Eastern League when he returned to Tadcaster Albion this season, but it was his namesake that secured them a vital victory on the road at Bridlington Town.

While the rest of the division stopped for the day, rain causing postponements across the county, Josh Greening kept going at Bridlington Town.

A victory was guaranteed to lift Tadcaster back to the summit of the Premier Division, but it took until the very last minute of the game for three points to be secured.

Jason Mycoe had had an exceptional game. He worked the ball well with former Manchester United player Jonathan Greening before firing the perfect cross into the area.

Josh Greening timed his run, guiding a header into the back of the net to send the Tadcaster travelling fans into ecstacy.

It was a sight made all the more bizarre by the fact that it was the club’s annual fancy dress day. Batman and Robin in the away end would not have celebrated more if they had finally captured the Joker.

The Brewers were somewhat fortunate to get the win, with the match relatively equal throughout.

The second-half belonged to Bridlington, which showed Tadcaster’s mental strength to come through the challenge and earn a win at the death.

That sort of never-say-die attitude can only bode well for their title push. Albion have been comfortably the best performers in the Premier Division this season but need to make up for a run of postponements caused by the flooding and subsequent damage to the i2i Stadium.

Bridlington deserve great credit for the game going ahead, as every other fixture in the Premier Division was cancelled.

Hemsworth Miners Welfare remain top of Division One after a raft of postponements in the second-tier.

The only action saw Penistone Church smash Rossington Main 4-0 away from home, while Shirebrook Town managed a 5-2 victory against Winterton Rangers to move within three points of second place.

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