GUISELEY avenged their Boxing Day defeat at the hands of rivals Bradford (Park Avenue) with a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture that knocked their neighbours off the summit of the Vanarama League North.

No one expected this game to be as one sided as Avenue’s 5-1 Boxing Day win at Nethermoor, but the home side were still the favourites. No one told the Lions and they tore into their hosts from the start.

Avenue manager Mark Bower, a former Guiseley boss, was disappointed that his side had lost their long unbeaten run but he praised his former club for the way they approached the rematch and their game plan execution.

He said: “I thought it was a tough game played under difficult conditions and it could have gone either way.

“The pitch was dry and bumpy and we knew that would suit them better than us with the way they play, looking for set-pieces, and they scored from two today.

"They were the better side in the first 15 minutes and they had a spell in the second half, but I thought we played some good football so there are things we can learn from it but also things we can take from it that we did well.”

Avenue had a big penalty appeal turned down in the first half and they ended the game with 10 men, as they had done at Nethermoor under very different circumstances.

When they had centre back Luca Havern sent off for a straight red card in the first meeting they were leading 5-0. At home they lost substitute Jamie Spencer to a second yellow card minutes after Guiseley had retaken the lead.

Bower added:“I think a lot of the big decisions went against us, two in particular with the penalty and the sending off.

“Nicky (Clee) looked to be a yard inside the box when he got pushed in the back. He had his back to goal, got pushed in the back and still fell inside the area but the referee gives a free-kick outside the box.

“Jamie was on the floor when he got pushed to the ground, it looked like it was more than once from where we were, by their number three (Niall Heaton who was shown a yellow card). The referee said Jamie had got the second yellow for the foul but how the number three stays on the pitch for what he did is beyond me.

“We have been in a little period over the last few games where a lot of things like that have gone against us so we’re hoping that will turn around.

"We’re disappointed to lose that long unbeaten run but these things happen over the course of a season.

“We usually get some a lot of stick about our game management and manipulating of officials but they (Guiseley) have given us a lesson in that today. But fair play to Guiseley - they are a very good team and they are in a false position so I expect them to climb the table in the second half of the season.”

The game was goalless when Clee was pushed as he jumped to head the ball in the 36th minute. Lewis Knight’s free-kick cleared the wall and dipped but not enough to trouble Lions keeper Marcus Dewhurst.

The Lions took the lead in the one minute of first half stoppage time when Alex Purver’s free kick from close to the dugouts was headed home at close range by Kayode Odejayi.

The crowd were chanting for Guiseley midfielder Will Hatfield to be sent off for a foul midway through the second half but his punishment was a yellow card and seeing his side pegged back.

The resulting free-kick was lofted in by Clee towards the back post, the ball was headed back across the goalmouth and Avenue skipper Oli Johnson launched himself to meet it on the volley and turn it past Dewhurst.

Rowan Liburd scored the Lions’ winner with an excellent piece of improvisation in the 71st minute.

A free-kick was cleared and three times the ball was pumped back into Avenue’s area, Luca Havern headed the first two out, but the third dropped and bounced, Liburd had his back to goal but he back heeled the ball into the bottom corner with home keeper Steve Drench stranded.

Guiseley joint-manager Marcus Bignot said: “I’m delighted for the chairman, the board of directors but most of all for the supporters, the most important people at the club, because they suffered in the home fixture but hopefully we’ve gone some way to repaying them.

“It’s nice to have your front two scoring and I thought they were superb and set the tone throughout.

"We’re delighted with all the aspects of our game the mentality, the physicality we brought but also the tactical game plan we delivered and they showcased their ability.

“We’ve just played top of the league and they’re there for all the right reasons, everyone can see why they’re top of the table.”