Guiseley pay the penalty as Farsley Celtic get off to a flier

Guiseley slipped to a disappointing 4-2 home defeat to AFC Fylde on the opening day of the National League North season.

Sunday, 15th August 2021, 3:22 pm
The Guiseley wall holds firm to block a Fylde free-kick. Picture: Steve Riding.

For the first time in 525 days the Lions were hosting a competitive first-team game with fans and both teams up for the occasion at the start, but the visitors took the early advantage.

AFC Fylde took the lead with 10 minutes gone. Luke Burke delivered a cross to the back post and Ben Tollitt had an easy tap-in.

The hosts would have a good chance soon after – George Cantrill delivered a low drive that just missed the right hand post and went wide.

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Guiseley's Jordan Thewlis bears down on goal challenged by Alex Whitmore of Fylde. Picture: Steve Riding.

Guiseley equalised with a quarter of the game gone, a handball in the area resulted in a penalty and Jordan Thewlis made no mistake from the spot to make it 1-1.

Another good cross found Nick Haughton who acrobatically aimed his effort towards goal, but it went just wide.

It was an even start to the second half, but that was interrupted by Tollitt showing his quality. He dropped a shoulder just outside the area and after beating his man, fired a shot that took a slight deflection, wrong footing the keeper and putting the Coasters back in front.

The match effectively ended as a contest when the visitors were awarded two penalties. Haughton converted both in the space of four minutes.

Jordan Thewlis scores from the penalty spot in Guiseley's 4-2 defeat to Fylde. Picture: Steve Riding.

Guiseley tried to get forward, but could only create one real chance that they were able to take as Hamza Bencherif produced a run from the halfway line before powering in the Lions second goal.

After the defeat Guiseley joint-manager Russ O’Neill said: “The scoreline didn’t reflect the performance to me. I was happy with the physicality side of the game, we matched them from that side of it.

“A deflected goal and two penalties and the game has gone away from us. We will analyse this and assess, I’m encouraged by the fitness levels of the lads.”

Farsley Celtic made the perfect start to the new campaign with an impressive 1-0 victory at Hereford FC.

Prince Ekpolo of Guiseley takes on Fylde's Danny Philliskirk. Picture: Steve Riding.

A crowd of more than 2,000 packed into Edgar Street on Saturday but went home disappointed after Luke Parkin’s second-half free-kick found the top corner.

The visitors survived a couple of scares though on the way to three points with Tom Donaghy saving Joey Butlin’s 75th-minute penalty after Ryan McLean went down under a challenge from Adam Barton.

Farsley were forced to battle with their backs against the wall in the closing moments after Dave Syers was red carded, but they held on for victory.

“I’m absolutely delighted, I thought the players put such a shift in,” said Celts boss Adam Lakeland after the game.

“We’ve said through the week, we will get better as the season goes on, we might not be amazing today with the ball, and like probably all teams we’re trying to get up to speed.

“But what we can do is defend well, and try and keep clean sheets, and if we do that I’m always confident we can pinch goals.

“Thankfully that’s what we managed to do today, and it’s a very, very good start for us.”

Elsewhere, Bradford Park Avenue lost 1-0 at Kettering Town in their opening game of the season.