Farsley Celtic still chasing first win as Guiseley make first slip-up

Guiseley slipped to their first defeat of the National League North season when they were defeated 1-0 at home to Hereford on Saturday.
Guiseley joint-boss, Russ O'Neill. Picture: Steve Riding.Guiseley joint-boss, Russ O'Neill. Picture: Steve Riding.
Guiseley joint-boss, Russ O'Neill. Picture: Steve Riding.

There was a delay to kick-off owing to the Hereford bus arriving just over half an hour before the game was due to start.

With under a minute of the match gone, a free-kick found Hamza Bencherif who saw his header loop onto the roof of the net, with Guiseley going close.

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The Lions kept the pressure on and had another chance, a through-ball found Jonathan Wafula, who was one on one with Hereford goalkeeper Paul White, but his shot went over the bar.

Consolation scorer for Farsley Celtic, Jimmy Spencer. Picture: Steve Riding.Consolation scorer for Farsley Celtic, Jimmy Spencer. Picture: Steve Riding.
Consolation scorer for Farsley Celtic, Jimmy Spencer. Picture: Steve Riding.

A well-worked move saw Hereford have their first opportunity with Lewell John-Lewis powering a header towards the top corner, but Brad Wade was able to get a hand on the effort.

The visitors took the lead moments later when a foul was adjudged to have been made in the area, John-Lewis stepped up confidently to give them the lead.

A stop-start second half followed with neither side creating many chances, though Guiseley perhaps edged it. The main chance for The Lions was from a corner that led to a goalmouth scramble and Dan Cowan hit a shot from a few yards out but it was cleared off the line.

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Hereford nearly wrapped up the points in added time in style with Kyle Finn on the half-volley forcing Wade into an impressive save.

Harrogate Town boss, Simon Weaver. Picture courtesy: HTFC.Harrogate Town boss, Simon Weaver. Picture courtesy: HTFC.
Harrogate Town boss, Simon Weaver. Picture courtesy: HTFC.

Speaking after the match, Guiseley joint-manager, Russ O’Neill, said. “I think the result is a tough one to take; I thought we started well and looked like we’d take the lead. We didn’t, they got their goal and then we kept going. It was a learning curve. We had chances in the game; we need to learn from it. Hopefully, later on in the season we will look back and know we did just that.”

Guiseley will be looking to bounce back as they face FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday.

Farsley Celtic, without a league win this season suffered a spot of bother in their 2-1 loss at Curzon Ashton, with Will Hayhurst seeing his 88th-minute penalty saved for the visitors.

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Former Harrogate striker Dominic Knowles opened the scoring early in the second half following a goalmouth scramble and Dale Whitham doubled that advantage moments later when he beat Steven Drench far too easily with a speculative 30-yard shot. Jimmy Spencer went on to reduce the deficit just past the hour when Cameron Mason could only parry a Jake Charles effort.

But, after Dave Syers was shoved to the ground, Hayhurst’s spot kick was saved down to his left by Mason.

Bradford Park Avenue went down 2-1 to Gateshead, who they have not now beaten in their last seven attempts. A Jordan Windass delivery saw Adam Nowakowski head against the crossbar before following up to give the home side a 27th-minute lead.

But Jordon Preston nodded in to restore parity and, after Mark Ross saw a header cleared off the line just before the break for Avenue, Dan Ward also rose highest on the hour to meet a corner and secure the points.

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Elsewhere, only a heroic performance from goalkeeper Peter Jameson ensured York City maintained their unbeaten start to the National League North season.

The Minstermen kept their first clean sheet in seven league games with Jameson pulling off impressive saves to deny former striker Wes York, James Armson, Matt Lowe, Ethan Coleman and Lee Ndlovu during a 0-0 home draw against Brackley.

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It is no secret that the situation which Simon Weaver walked into when he first took over as Harrogate Town manager was far from ideal, writes RHYS HOWELL.

Back in May 2009, the then-31-year-old had to climb over a fence to take his first look around his new place of work. What he found was overgrown grass on the pitch and not very much else.

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Upon closer inspection, Weaver discovered that Town had only two players on their books, neither of whom had any interest in sticking around. There were barely even any serviceable footballs in the building.

On numerous occasions, he was faced with the option of either holding training sessions in a car park or squash court, or simply cancelling them altogether, so badly was the old Wetherby Road turf affected by anything resembling heavy rainfall.

The list goes on.

A lot, of course, can change in more than a decade, but the club that Weaver joined 11 years ago is now completely unrecognisable from the one which was promoted into the English Football League (EFL) this summer.

On Saturday, Town made history, hosting an EFL fixture at the EnviroVent Stadium for the first time in its 106-year existence.

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For Weaver, that special moment, was made all-the-more enjoyable by the trials and tribulations which he had to endure during the early years of his tenure.

“This is a great moment to be the manager of this football club and it feels all the more satisfying because of the many struggles,” the Harrogate boss said after his side’s 1-0 win over Barrow on their newly-laid natural grass pitch.

“It’s not been an easy ride. You look at the new stand and you look out at the pitch and think back to seven years ago when we re-laid the it and played Altrincham and it poured down with rain.

“Lumps were coming out of it and it was damaged from day one. We have had a lot of struggles with it.

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“So, today was another historic occasion and it’s been a really satisfying day.

“Now we’re looking at the [League Two] table tonight and we’re seventh and we’re thinking ‘yeah, come on, just keep chalking up points’.”