Stalybridge Celtic 0, Guiseley 3
Guiseley marched to a superb victory at sixth-placed Stalybridge Celtic to keep the pressure on Blue Square Bet North leaders Hyde.
The Lions remain in second spot as Hyde won yet again, 1-0 at second-bottom Blyth Spartans, to remain just two points clear.
Guiseley’s victory came despite the dismissal of striker James Walshaw in a highly controversial incident.
Midway through the second half, Celts goalkeeper Jan Budtz clashed with Walshaw and, as a defender stepped in, there was some pushing.
The defender went to ground and Budtz chased after the referee to remonstrate. The outcome was a straight red card for Walshaw.
Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick said: “There was a massive over-reaction from their lad, which was ridiculous. But it was their keeper who got ‘Wally’ sent off. I’m very surprised at Jan because I thought he had a lot more about him than that.
“Its very annoying and we had 20 to 25 minutes to play with only ten men. It didn’t affect us too much though because we are a very professional, well-organised and determined side. We were strong all over the park and it was a great result.”
The Lions had to work hard to create chances against a very good Stalybridge side but they went in at the break 2-0 up after two late goals.
Both were provided by superb crosses from Ciaran Toner, Simon Ainge heading in the first in the 41st minute and then Walshaw nodding in at the back post moments later.
Ten minutes after the interval the game was effectively over as a contest with the visitors’ third goal, Michael Burns whipping in a corner which was converted by Mark Wilson with yet another header.