National League North: Guiseley earn their fair share after Andy Halls' wonder strike
GUISELEY joint-manager Marcus Bignot insisted he was pleased with his side's efforts after a battling 1-1 draw at National League North rivals Altrincham last night.
The result extended the Lions’ unbeaten run to five games and leaves them 15th in the early-season standings.
The visitors almost took the lead with 20 minutes gone when a corner from Alex Purver found Kayode Odejayi only for his header from eight yards to go wide.
Altrincham came into the clash on the back of an impressive victory at Darlington at the weekend and they had a good chance themselves when Brendon Daniels passed to Shaun Williams who, from the edge of the penalty area, shot wide.
The home side soon had an even better opening when Owen Dale worked his way into the area and crossed to Max Harrop, who could only hit the side-netting with an open goal at his mercy.
It was the hosts again who went close to breaking the deadlock before the break when Jordan Hulme was found with a precision cross only to shot straight at Lions goalkeeper Joe Green.
The start of the second half saw Altrincham continue where they had left off and they soon took the lead when a corner was hooked to the back post where Hulme was allowed a free header to score.
This game could have been done for the Lions, but Andy Halls had other ideas and equalised in memorable style.
The defender took possession before running into the Altrincham half and unleashing an unstoppable low strike into the bottom right-hand corner of the net from 35 yards out.
The equaliser seemed to open the game up as both sides went for the winner, but, with chances at either end, a draw was a fair result.
“Andy Halls has gone and scored the goal of the season already,” said a delighted Bignot afterwards.
“We ended the game strongly and we went for the win. I’m pleased with how we played, it could have been a win, but it’s a good point.”
Elsewhere, late goals from substitutes Jon Parkin and Adriano Moke gave York City a 2-0 win against ten-man Blyth Spartans at Bootham Crescent.
Parkin broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 80th minute after Blyth midfielder Connor Oliver handled a cross from David Ferguson. Moke added the second in stoppage-time.
Blyth were reduced to ten men on the half-hour mark when midfielder Kieran Green was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Ferguson.
The win moves the Minstermen up to seventh in the standings.
Bradford Park Avenue took all three points at home against Boston United, moving them above AFC Telford United and into second spot.
A 15th-minute penalty from Oli Johnson proved the difference for Mark Bower’s team, the spot-kick being awarded after former Bradford defender Ryan Qualter had hauled down Conor Branson.
In the National League Harrogate Town missed a chance to go top of the table, but extended their unbeaten start to the campaign with a 0-0 draw at AFC Fylde.
Halifax went top earlier in the day when a Jordan Preston strike earned them a 1-0 home win over Gateshead, pushing them one point clear of second-placed Wrexham.