Guiseley 2 Colwyn Bay 1
Guiseley moved closer to a Conference North play-off spot with victory at home to Colwyn Bay and can seal their place in the top five with a win at Workington tomorrow.
Former Bantams centre back Mark Bower got the better of ex-Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair in the management stakes at Nethermoor.
Sinclair’s Welshmen went in front from the penalty spot just before the hour but Guiseley’s spirit under boss Bower soon resurfaced.
It was a close and fiercely competitive game with both teams at full throttle but, in the frenetic pace, some of the quality was lacking.
However, that did not take anything away from the contest – it merely added to the absorbing nature of the game.
The Welsh outfit threatened early on as Lions keeper Steve Drench pulled out a top-drawer save in the ninth minute. His reaction when Bay skipper Rob Hopley looked certain to score was worthy of a save Gordon Banks would have been proud of.
Drench was back in action soon afterwards when his hurried clearance hit Hop-ley’s strike partner Jamie Ellison, who was just a few yards away, but it bounced straight back to the home keeper.
Club captain Andy Holds-worth was not wearing the armband as fellow defender Danny Ellis was skipper for the day on his 400th appearance for the club.
But Ellis’ day was almost ruined when he conceded the penalty.
Ellison appeared to go down easily under the challenge, and he netted the resulting spot-kick, but Ellis’ side came back with two goals in a five-minute spell.
Bower introduced Oli Johnson from the bench just after the hour-mark and, minutes later, his trickery allowed him to get a cross into the six-yard box. Adam Boyes stuck out a leg but the effort still took a deflection on its way in.
A foul on Gavin Rothery earned Bay midfielder Sean Williams a yellow card and led to a free-kick just inside the visitors’ half.
When Wayne Brooksby launched it forward, Rothery was on the end of it to lash a half-volley into the bottom corner for the winner.
With sixth-placed Boston only drawing at Leamington, Guiseley now have a five-point lead over them and require a further two points to guarantee their place in the end-of-season extras.
Bower said: “It wasn’t the best game but we were patient and got the win.
“We only need two points from our last two games now to be guaranteed a play-off place but we will go to Workington tomorrow still looking for a win.”
The Cumbrian outfit’s fate was sealed on Saturday when their 2-1 defeat to Vauxhall Motors left them rock-bottom.
Their relegation was confirmed as they are nine points from safety with only six to play for.