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Guiseley do a Barcelona against Bishop’s Stortford!
Buy this photo » Dave Merris tries his luck against Bishop's Stortford
Guiseley 0 Bishop's Stortford 1
Guiseley’s hopes of landing the Blue Square Bet North Division title were extinguished on Saturday in the penultimate game of the season.
Bishop’s Stortford were in all blue, which was fitting as they were the Chelsea to Guiseley’s Barcelona in a one-sided game.
Millions witnessed the first steal of the week on television last Tuesday. Almost a thousand saw the rerun at Nethermoor.
Bishop’s were outplayed, outmanoeuvred and outrun but, ultimately, not outscored.
Even the first-half stoppage time goal, while the dominant side hit the woodwork, mirrored the Champions League game days earlier.
However, while Barca have a second leg to try to put things right the Lions have only a second bite at the promotion cherry via a difficult play-off route.
The defeat meant Hyde’s victory at Boston United sealed their passage into the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Lions boss Steve Kittrick said: “I would be disappointed if we hadn’t played well but we could have been talking about a 4-1 or 5-1 win.
“I always said if Hyde beat us to the title then good luck to them because we did what we could so they must be worthy winners.”
The nervous tension was apparent from early on but Guiseley settled and began to play the football they are capable of.
In the 17th minute, a superb 20-yard shot from Ciaran Toner dipped but was palmed onto the bar and over by visiting keeper Jordan Archer.
Archer, on loan from Tottenham, went on to make more astounding saves as the game developed.
Bishop’s snatched the only goal of the game in the one minute of time added on at the end of the half. A free-kick just inside Guiseley’s half was pumped into the area and only half cleared before Matt Johnson fired in a low drive.
Kittrick attempted to freshen up his attacking options with substitutions.
They came within inches of an equaliser when right back Jamie Clarke hit a stunning volley from the edge of the D that cannoned back into play off the inside of the post.
Even six minutes of injury time was not enough for Guiseley to unlock the visitors’ defence.
Kittrick concluded: “Their goal was a nothing goal after we had dominated possession and when you see that one hit the post and stay out (Clarke’s effort) you know its not going to be your day.”
Football is a cruel game; ask Kittrick or Pep Guardiola.