At a rain-soaked Nethermoor, Guiseley AFC defeated local neighbours Bradford (Park Avenue) in an entertaining game in the Blue Square Bet North.
For the third successive game, Bradford, somehow, were unable to put the ball in the back of the net, and were punished by a first half goal by the Lions’ midfielder Danny Boshell.
The Avenue’s line up had a different look, as John Lamb returned between the sticks, in place of the injured Tim Deasy. Also, Adam Clayton marked his comeback with a role amongst the back four, and John Deacey chose Jamie Jackson to lead the line. At the same time, young midfielder Jordan Snodin was named on the substitutes bench, after securing a short term loan deal from Leeds United.
Following a heated opening ten minutes, the Avenue managed to get the first shot on target. A neat pass from Paul Walker spotted the angled run of striker Jamie Jackson, and, despite cutting inside onto his favoured right foot, his low shot was well saved by Lions stopper Steve Drench.
At the opposite end of the pitch, the home side were having to play neat, short passing football to break down the Bradford defence. However, a good turn from Gavin Rothery, allowed the winger to escape Walker, only for his long range shot to go harmlessly wide.
A minute later, the Lions saw a goal disallowed. A through ball from frontman Kevin Holsgrove found the run of his fellow striker Jamie Walshaw, but, he was adjudged to be offside by the linesman.
Nonetheless, the Avenue continued to pose a threat. Following a foul on Jordan Deacey, the referee awarded a free kick to the visitors. However, Richard Marshall blazed an effort from 25 yards over the bar.
After a quarter of the game gone, Guiseley AFC took the lead. Again, Holsgrove caused problems for Bradford, and after seeing his powerful right footed shot strike the post, Danny Boshell pounced on the rebound to curl his effort past John Lamb from 18 yards.
Three minutes later, the Avenue were denied an equaliser, by their own man. A cross from Walker was struck first time by Alex Davidson, but his goal ward bound shot was blocked by Marshall on the line.
Furthermore, Alex Davidson came close again to scoring. After finding a gap between the back four, the winger rounded Steve Drench, and his shot from 10 yards was cleared off the line by Lions defender Danny Ellis.
However, the home side nearly doubled their advantage. A deep free kick from Andy Holdsworth was met by the unmarked Josh Wilson, but, he was unable to steer his header on target from 12 yards.
With ten minutes remaining of the first half, the visitors, again, troubled Drench in the Lions’ goal. Bradford midfielder Nathan Hotte drove forward, and after passing to Marshall, the number four found Walker on the left wing, and his shot from 12 yards stung the palms of Drench.
Once more, John Deacey’s side were close to getting level. Nevertheless, a free kick by Jordan Deacey was struck by Adam Clayton inside the box, and, again, Ellis came to the rescue for the Lions.
With the rain becoming heavier at the Nethermoor, the home side were under relentless Bradford pressure. Firstly, Alex Davidson dribbled with the ball 50 yards, and his inside pass was controlled by Deacey, but, his low shot was deflected into the grateful hands of Drench.
Then, the Avenue gained possession in the middle of the park, and a cross from Davidson was expertly taken by Jamie Jackson, and, despite his quick feet, his right footed effort was saved by the Guiseley AFC goalkeeper from close range.
However, with seconds left, Steve Kittrick’s side were unfortunate not to double their lead. Following patient build up from goalscorer Boshell, the midfielder found Walshaw, only for his shot to be easily picked out of the air by Lamb.
Then, the home side dispossessed a losse ball from Paul Walker, and after good work down the right wing, it was Josh Wilson who managed to squirm a shot away, but, Lamb was equal to hs low shot which travelled under a number of players.
HALF TIME: GUISELEY AFC 1-0 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
After the break, both sides were struggling to play their style of football on a heavy pitch.
However, it was the Lions’ who created the first opportunity of the second half. A diagonal ball from Andy Holdsworth was misjudged by Adam Clayton, and Walshaw latched onto the ball, only for his effort to be tipped over by Lamb.
With the game still in the balance, Guiseley AFC were awarded a free kick, inches outside the penalty area, as Jamie Price fouled Kevin Holsgrove. However, the resulting free kick ended with Wilson’s low effort being deflected wide.
Another spectacular save from Steve Drench denied Richard Marshall. The midfielder received the flick on from substitute Tom Corner, and, Marshall fired a long range effort from 30 yards, which was acrobatically tipped onto the crossbar by Drench.
As the game approached the hour mark, the Avenue came close again to score their opening goal. A lovely ball from Walker was met by Corner, which was saved by Drench. However, the referee had already blown his whistle and subsequently, booked Corner.
An error by Adam Clayton, nearly led to a second goal for Guiseley AFC. The centre back played a loose pass inside his own half, but, Wilson was unable to make the most of his opportunity, forcing Lamb into a save from 16 yards.
With 15 minutes left of this enthralling encounter, referee Alf Greenwood awarded another free kick close to Lamb’s goal. This time, James Knowles was the player who committed a foul on Holsgrove, but, Walshaw’s curling shot sailed over the bar.
With the Avenue introducing Danny Holland in place of Jordan Deacey, the visitors were not fearful of lacking in numbers at the back. However, the home side’s Andy Pearson failed to find the target from a delivery by Jamie Clarke.
Again, Drench was the man to deny Bradford a goal. Once more, Marshall orchestrated his own opportunity, but could only watch the Lions number one dive to his left to palm the ball away from goal from 20 yards.
It was Bradford who were forcing their opponents into their own half. Despite their pressure, the away side were unable to trouble Drench, as Nathan Hotte was unable to direct his shot on target.
Somehow, Bradford did not score. Again, it was sustained pressure from the men in green and white, and after Corner’s shot blocked by the Lions’ defenders, Hotte received the loose ball, but, his powerful effort was headed off the line by Andy Pearson from 18 yards.
With four minutes added, the Avenue had another effort on goal. A cross from Walker was met by the Bradford substitute Danny Holland, but, his header travelled wide.
The final chance for Bradford arrived in the final minute of added time. A free kick was swung in by Michael Duckworth, and captain James Knowles was off balance and fired his shot wide from 12 yards.
FULL TIME: GUISELEY AFC 1-0 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Guiseley AFC: Drench, Holdsworth (c), Meynell, Rea, Ellis, Pearson, Wilson, Boshell, Holsgrove (Hardy 90), Walshaw, Rothery (Clarke 25).
Subs not used: McWilliams, Dale, Giles.
Scorers: D. Boshell (24)
Bookings: D.Boshell, Clarke, Holdsworth.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Duckworth, Price, Marshall, Knowles, Clayton (Greaves 85), Davidson, Hotte, Jackson (Corner 54), Deacey (Holland 79), Walker.
Subs not used: O’Brien, Snodin.
Bookings: Hotte, Corner.