National League: Rankine's double lifts Guiseley's spirits
Guiseley boosted their survival hopes as they gained their first National League win in almost a year after beating Macclesfield Town 2-1 '“ thanks to a Michael Rankine double.
The home side were able to keep possession for much of the opening period of the game and they had the first opportunity but Kingsley James was unable to get his effort on target when given space outside the area.
Despite having the lion’s share of possession, Macc’ were unable to breakdown some resolute Guiseley defending.
They paid the price when the Lions took the lead on the half-hour mark when James Wesolowski was brought down in the area by former Huddersfield Town defender John McCombe and Rankine made no mistake from the spot.
But that high for the visitors soon disappeared, when from the kick-off, Town’s Chris Holroyd was able to get past the defence and produce a calm finish.
On Friday, Guiseley had confirmed the signing of Derek Asamoah and he forced former York City keeper Scott Flinders into a smart save, with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, meaning the teams went in level at half-time.
The start of the second half saw Guiseley get another penalty when Flinders fouled former Leeds United midfielder Will Hatfield.
Rankine actually saw his effort saved but he was in the right place to fire home the rebound and give the Lions a precious lead.
There were also encouraging signs of a potential new strike partnership coming together with Rankine and Asamoah working well, but the new arrival from Carlisle United saw his effort go wide.
Macclesfield then had the ball in the back of the net with James seeing his effort go in but it was ruled out for offside and Guiseley held on for a crucial win.
The Lions are now 21st in the table, just a point away from safety.
In National League North, Harrogate Town were forced to settle for a point after twice being pegged back at FC United of Manchester.
Tom Platt headed tenth-placed Town into the lead after just three minutes, but the advantage only lasted until the 26th minute when Jason Gilchrist levelled.
Harrogate new boy Kuda Muskwe found the net on his debut just two minutes after the restart, but again Town’s lead was cancelled out as George Thomson fired in with fifteen minutes to play.
FC Halifax Town in fifth earned a vital 4-2 over play-off rivals Salford City – who led 2-0 at half-time.
Shay manager Billy Heath changed things at the break and new signing from York City, Daniel Nti, got the comeback underway with a debut goal.
Half-time substitute Liam King, Matty Kosylo and Adam Morgan completed Halifax’s remarkable turnaround. Bradford Park Avenue remain deep in trouble at the bottom after a 2-0 home defeat by Boston United.
Evo-Stik League: Frickley Athletic put further daylight between themselves and the Premier Division dropzone after a 2-0 win over Sutton Coldfield Town.
Goals in either half from Curtly Martin-Wyatt (40) and Waide Fairhurst (60) lifted the Blues seven points clear of third-bottom Corby Town and Athletic also have two games in hand over Town and Sutton Coldfield Town.
In First Division North, the match of the day saw second-placed Trafford win 1-0 at leaders Lancaster City.
City are now three points clear of their rivals and third-placed Ossett Town who eased to a 3-0 success at relegation-threatened Goole.
Marcus Day got the Ingfielders off to the perfect start with a goal inside two minutes. The same player bagged a second with nine minutes to go, and Alex Peterson’s 90th-minute penalty added gloss.
Fourth-placed Farsley Celtic boosted their title and promotion hopes with a 3-2 success at Colne.
A see-saw clash saw Celtic open the scoring through Adam Clayton (31), Mark Ayres levelled a minute later before James Walshaw (43) restored Celts’ lead before half-time.
Oliver Wood made it 2-2 three minutes after the restart before the deadly Walshaw bagged Farsley’s winner (81).
Celtic are now just six points adrift of Lancaster, have three games in hand on the leaders, four on Trafford and five on Ossett Town. Scarborough Athletic were pegged back 1-1 in a Yorkshire derby with Brighouse Town who levelled in the 88th minute through Devonte Morton. Billy Logan (27) had earlier given the visitors the lead.
Ossett Albion dragged themsleves out of the drop zone with a precious 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Mossley.
Adam Muller (7) and Ross Hardaker (44) for Ossett.
Tadcaster Albion’s trip to Glossop Noth End was postponed.
NCE LEAGUE: Pickering Town and Thackley fell further behind in the Premier Division title race as they drew 1-1 against each other and leaders Cleethorpes Town defeated Parkgate, 3-0.
Hosts Pikes took a second-minute lead through George Bissett, but Mike Garrod (57) earned Thackley a point.
Garforth Town hit four second-half goals in 15 minutes without reply to defeat hosts Clipstone.
Jack McMurrough (54), Mark Simpson (57), Mitchell Hamilton (63) and Luke McCrum (69) made it a happy trip back for the Miners.
Harrogate Railway won 2-1 at home to Armthorpe Welfare thanks to first-half goals from Jules Gabbiadini (8) and Stephen Bromley (40).
Seventh-placed Liversedge trailed 3-0 on the hour, but hit back to earn a point through Stephen Wales (61 and 77) and Joe Walton (82).
Hemsworth MW also drew, 1-1 at Maltby Main, where Ryan Carroll put the hosts ahead on 80 minutes and Jack Steers levelled a minute later. Albion Sports were shocked 4-2 at home by rock-bottom Barton Town OB. Daniel Facey (71) and Joel Barden (85) for Sports.
AFC Emley are still five points clear at the top of Division 1 after beating Grimsby Borough 2-1. Jordan Coduri with a fourth-minute penalty and Samuel Jerome (25). Pontefract Collieries are still third after a 3-2 victory at Eccleshill United – Spencer Clarke (5), Kane Reece (29) and Christopher Jackson (46) for Colls.
Three goals in the last 10 minutes saw Glasshoughton edge Campion 2-1. Nathan Keightley (82) gave Welfare the lead, Eli Hey levelled (83), before Andrew Horbury (90) won it.
Bottom side Nostell MW were denied a rare win after Dominic Riordan bagged a 90th-minute equaliser for Worsbrough Bridge to earn them a 2-2 draw. Nijike Nswana (18) and Luke Robinson (84) on target for Welfare.
Selby Town lost 3-1 at home to Yorkshire Amateur, despite taking an eighth-minute lead through Calum Ward. Joel Hughes (10, pen), Adam Shaw (33) and T’nique Fishley (34) for Ammers. Knaresborough Town’s Fraser Lancaster hit a 90th-minute winner as they triumphed 2-1 at Shirebrook Town. William Lenehan (52) had earlier given Town the lead.