FA Trophy review: Guiseley AFC boss can't quite fathom win

Manager Steve Kittrick admits he still cannot quite believe how nine-man Guiseley incredibly booked their place in the FA Trophy second round.

The Lions led Conference Premier hosts Barrow 3-0 at half-time on Saturday but a home fightback soon reduced the deficit to 3-2 in the second half.

In the most dramatic of second periods, both sides missed a penalty – goalkeeper Steve Drench Guiseley's hero – and the Lions also saw both Ryan Toulson and Danny Boshell sent off before holding on to go through.

Guiseley's name now goes into today's second round draw and Kittrick admitted: "I sort of still have to pinch myself!

"It was bizarre but we started off really well, we scored within three or four minutes and we could have had six or seven by half-time.

"In the end we were hanging on and it was unbelievable as the ref added five minutes of injury time plus he played another minute. It was ridiculous!

"But overall I can't express how impressed I was with how we played and it just shows how good we can be."

Joe O'Neill opened the scoring for Guiseley after just five minutes when he fired through a crowd of players and into the corner of the net.

Nine minutes later the Lions lead was doubled, James Walshaw tapping home from close range, and four minutes later Guiseley were in dreamland as Danny Boshell smashed the ball home from the just outside the penalty area.

However, after a chorus of boos at the break at Holker Street, Barrow came out looking like a new team.

Striker Gregg Blundell reduced the deficit on 47 minutes before sustained pressure saw Guiseley hanging on.

However, on 71 minutes the visitors had the opportunity to regain their three-goal advantage when O'Neill was brought down for a penalty but

James Walshaw fired the spot-kick wide of the target.

After right-back Toulson was sent off for a second bookable offence, Blundell again struck to make the final 10 minutes nervy for the visitors.

And when Barrow's Paul Rutherford won a penalty, Blundell had the chance to level the scores and get his hat-trick but Drench got down well to send his side through.

Boshell was dismissed after the penalty for dissent but Guiseley hung on to book their place in the next round.

The evening then saw Guiseley's Christmas night out take place in Manchester which Kittrick admitted was subsequently extra special!

"It was great and everybody was buzzing," he said.

Now there is only one team Kittrrick wants to avoid in today's second

round draw, 5-0 FA Cup victors Crawley Town.

"We got to the last 16 last year and we're hoping we can do that again this year but go a stage further," he said.

"We'll see who we get but what we don't want is Crawley away!"

Harrogate Town and York City, meanwhile, both crashed out of the Trophy on Saturday after home defeats to AFC Telford and Boston United respectively.

Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Adam Proudlock's hat-trick secured Telford's passage into the second round in front of 247 people at Town's CNG Stadium but home boss Simon Weaver felt is men deserved more.

"We were unlucky to concede just before half-time, but it proved costly," he said.

"The lads did well in the second half, but we were caught on the counter-attack twice and we have to learn from counter attacking teams. I think in the second half we proved we can compete with the likes of Telford in this league."

York boss Gary Mills made no attempt to hide his disappointment after City lost to a 30th-minute strike from Spencer Weir-Daley.

"We just didn't play and we didn't deserve to go through," said Mills. It's very disappointing because this is a very good competition which leads to a final at Wembley."

Paul McKay

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