Non-League football: Guiseley are good value for their win

Gavin Rothery.
Gavin Rothery.
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Guiseley maintained their Vanarama North promotion push with a professional performance in a 1-0 win at home to Leamington.

Gavin Rothery scored the important winner, sinking the relegation battlers early in the second half.

There was a cautious start by both sides, with Guiseley maintaining a lot of the possession without being able to break down the away side’s resolute defence. And it was Leamington who went close first after 25 minutes with Danny Newton striking an effort from just outside the penalty area which forced Steve Drench into a fine save.

But as the end of the first half approached, Guiseley should have been ahead, firstly Andy Holdsworth produced a 30-yard thunderbolt of a free-kick which smashed the crossbar with Leamington goalkeeper Ross Atkins helpless.

Jake Lawlor then forced Atkins into two good saves as he was found in the area and as he went for the rebound the keeper was able to reclaim the ball while under pressure.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, when the goalkeeper was finally beaten, Oli Johnson’s effort was cleared off the line by two Leamington defenders.

The start of the second half was the time when Guiseley got their goal with Holdsworth producing a quick cross which found Rothery who tapped in from five yards out.

The home side were then able to shut out any chances that Leamington tried to create, with Guiseley actually going the closest to getting the next goal.

Substitute Alex Johnson produced a good effort which was well saved in the latter stages of the match.

The result means Guiseley stay in third place in the Vanarama North table with the Lions back in action on Boxing Day at Harrogate Town.

Guiseley manager Mark Bower said: “It’s a very important three points.

“It was never going to be a free-flowing game but I thought we were solid at the end and we needed that in the end.”

Harrogate Town fared less well as a 3-0 loss at Tamworth left them 14th.

Tamworth’s player/boss Andy Morrell was on the scoresheet as his side cast Town to a third straight defeat without scoring. Paul Green had headed Tamworth ahead just short of the half-hour mark before Morrell struck close to the break

Connor Taylor’s superb diving header wrapped up the points for the home side in the second half, as they leapt to 11th with a fifth straight win.

Out of both the FA Cup and FA Trophy, Simon Weaver’s Harrogate side are now ten points away from Chorley in the final play-off spot, having played a game more in 14th place.

Town will have to start looking over their shoulders to the relegation places with only seven points separating them and third-bottom Gloucester City and a difficult Christmas period ahead.

Bradford Park Avenue’s hosting of Gloucester City was postponed on Saturday and John Deacey’s side return to action on Boxing Day at fifth-placed Chorley.

In the Conference, FC Halifax Town rose to sixth with a 2-0 success against 10-man Nuneaton at The Shay.

Nuneaton lost midfielder James Armson 64 minutes after a challenge with Scott McManus and the Shaymen cashed in with goals from James Bolton and Lois Maynard.

Halifax return to action tomorrow evening with their rearranged FA Trophy tie at Worcester City. Three days later they travel to Gateshead in the league on Boxing Day.


JESUS Martin was among the scorers for Harrogate Railway who enjoyed a pre-Christmas 4-1 win at Brighouse Town in First Division North.

Thomas Matthews gave Brighouse a 44th-minute lead but Rail’ bagged four second- half responses through Adam Baker, Matthew Heath, a Nathan Cartman penalty and Martin.

Farsley AFC enjoyed a 2-1 success at home to fellow play-off chasing rivals Droylsden. Kieron Kenny put the Bloods ahead after 35 minutes but an Alastair Brown own goal levelled matters four minutes after the hour. Aiden Savory then netted the game’s winner 11 minutes from time.

Ossett Albion shared a 1-1 draw with visiting Spennymoor Town. Albion’s Connor Bower struck after 33 minutes but Michael Roberts equalised just before the hour.

Scarborough Athletic enjoyed a 2-1 win at home to Mossley thanks to Matthew Plummer’s late winner which followed a home Gray Bradshaw strike.

Ossett Town’s trip to New Mills was postponed because of waterlogging.

In the Premier Division, Frickley Athletic’s clash at Rushall Olympic was abandoned due to a serious injury to the home side’s Sam Brooks.

With Rushall already down to 10 men following the sending off of Mitchell Tolley, Brooks went down in agony after stretching. After a lengthy stoppage and after consulting with both captains and managers, the referee abandoned the game. The game was all square 1-1 at the time with Matty Bloor on target for the Blues.

Whitby Town enjoyed late jubilation in a 1-0 success at home to Stourbridge. Steven Snaith bagged a 90th-minute winner.

In First Division South, a Jordan Thewlis strike was in vain for Goole AFC as they lost 2-1 at home to Coalville Town.


YORKSHIRE Amateur caused a surprise in Division One of the NCE League with Saturday’s 3-1 success at leaders AFC Emley.

Thomas Rose, Joel Hughes and Tom Marsden all netted for ninth-placed Amateur who initially trailed to Jordan Townend’s 16th-minute opener.

Emley were suffering just their fifth league loss of the season and were only relieved to then learn that second-placed Clipstone were also felled 2-1 by visiting Hallam.

Pontefract Collieries rose to seventh with a 1-0 triumph against 11th-placed visitors Eccleshill United.

Mark Whitehouse bagged the game’s winner 10 minutes from time.

Honours were even between 12th-placed hosts Knaresborough Town and 13th-placed Selby Town in a 1-1 draw.

Chris Jackson gave Selby a 20th-minute lead but Mitchell Hamilton levelled two minutes before the interval.

In the Premier Division, leaders Tadcaster Albion pulled seven points clear of the chasing pack with a 3-0 beating of fifth-placed visitors Heanor Town – one of their key title rivals.

Callum Ward, Carl Stewart and Josh Greening all netted one each for Paul Marshall’s men who are seven points clear of Worksop Town who were not in action and have a game in hand.

At the other end of the table, Glasshoughton Welfare jumped off the foot of the division with a 2-1 win at home to 16th-placed Liversedge.

Adam Smith fired Sedge ahead after six minutes but Jimmy Dyson levelled six minutes later.

Kingsley Wetherald then bagged a 77th-minute winner for the elated hosts.

Nostell Miners Welfare now prop up the division after a 2-1 loss at Barton Town Old Boys in which an away strike from Rob Boardman was in vain.

Pickering Town sit 13th after beating visiting Parkgate 3-0 with two goals from Billy Logan and one from Chris Batchelor.

Bridlington Town are sixth after winning 4-2 at Maltby Main but Garforth Town are 12th after 1-0 reverse at home to Cleethorpes Town.