Guiseley’s first game of the new National League season saw them lose 2-1 to Eastleigh in a tight game that on another day would have seen the Lions gain something from it.
There was an early scare for the visitors when goalkeeper Dan Atkinson handled outside the area in the first minute but he only earned a booking.
Eastleigh, who are among the pundits’ favourites for promotion, soon took the lead when Adam Drury was found by James Constable and he was able to place the ball past Atkinson.
After conceding Guiseley needed to get back into the match and Will Hatfield, who won the supporters’ player of the season last campaign, nearly did just that but his effort went just over the bar.
Next it was former Altrincham man Nicky Clee, on his debut, who nearly scored when he showed good footwork and was just unable to curl the ball onto the target as it went wide.
The hosts then thought they had doubled their lead when Constable passed to Mikael Mandron and the forward fired home but the linesman adjudged him to be offside. On the stroke of half-time the home side doubled their lead when a Jake Howells free-kick found Joe Partington who had a free header and he made no mistake. Guiseley needed to get back into the match and soon did when Adam Smith delivered a good cross to Michael Rankine who finished calmly and halved the deficit.
The home side nearly scored again when Mandron’s header had to be cleared off the line by Marcus Williams who was well positioned to deny the goal.
With time running out, Guiseley threw men forward and in added time Ash Palmer’s header which was on target nearly went in, only for Eastleigh’s Ross Flitney to make a crucial save that ensured the hosts left with the win and all three points.
JP Pittman rescued a point for Harrogate Town in Conference North as he scrambled home a 91st-minute equaliser at Worcester City.
Former West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes gave City an 11th-minute lead, which was cancelled out four minutes later by Luke Sheils.
Hughes netted again three minutes after the restart before Pittman’s late intervention earned a share of the spoils for Simon Weaver’s men.
Former Guiseley team-mates Gavin Rothery and Liam Dickinson were both on target for their new clubs on Saturday.
Midfielder Rothery struck in first-half stoppage time to give Gainsborough Trinity the lead against Bradford Park Avenue before well-travelled striker Dickinson did the same in second-half added time to earn Avenue a point.
Former Huddersfield Town striker Tom Denton scored a hat-trick as FC Halifax Town began life back in Conference North with a 3-2 win at Nuneaton Town. Denton struck after two, 55 and 59 minutes, with Aaron Williams and Langman replying with the goals for the hosts.
FA Cup/NCE League
The final might not be until next May, but local non league sides took their first steps on the road to Wembley in the FA Cup’s Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday.
Early goals for Harry Viggars (7) and Nash Connolly (17) earned Hemsworth MW a 2-1 win at home to Runcorn Linnets, while Michael Dunn (36), Christopher Wood (39 and 78) saw Pontefract Colleries progress 3-2 at the expense of Runcorn Town.
Frank Zozo’s 90th-minute penalty earned Nostell MW a replay at home to Maine Road.
Joel Dixon (27) gave Welfare the lead in a see-saw encounter. Eder Ruiz Villasante (35) and Joshua Tinker (54) put Road on top, before Luke Middleton (61) levelled.
Louis Edwards (87) looked to have won it for the hosts before Zozo kept his cool to force the replay.
Harrogate Railway and Albiion Sports will have to try again after a 1-1 draw.
Hosts Rail led through Harry Brown (24), but Daniel Facey equalised five minutes later.
Garforth Town crashed out 3-0 at Chester-le-Street Town, Thackley lost 2-0 at Newcastle Benfield and Liversedge bowed out 5-2 at home to Cup stalwarts Guisborough Town. Vaughan Redford (42) and Joe Walton (56) on target for Sedge.
In NCE Division 1, new boys Campion sit top of the table after a 5-2 win at Westella.
Two goals in stoppage time saw Yorkshire Amateur snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at home to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic.
Andrew Ives-Townend (54) gave Ammers the lead but 90th-minute efforts from Lee Garside and Bradley Kerr won it for the visitors.
Selby Town drew 1-1 at Rossington Main, Chris Jackson on target for the Robins, but Glasshoughton Welfare went down to a last-minute defeat – 3-2 at Hall Road Rangers.
Richard Collier (56) and Nathan Keightley (79) for Welfare.