MAN of the match Alex Purver crowned a superb performance against Curzon Ashton on Tuesday, scoring the goal that gave Guiseley a 1-0 win and three precious points that opens up a five point gap between the Lions and third bottom FC United of Manchester.

Understandably, there was palpable relief from the faithful at Nethermoor at the final whistle that the Lions had finally registered their first win since they had put a dampener on Park Avenue’s play-off ambitions on New Year’s Day at Horsfall.

From the opening salvos, it looked as though the Nethermoor men were intent on gaining revenge for the single goal defeat at Curzon Ashton just over two weeks ago.

But until Purver’s 76th minute goal it looked like a case of déjà vu, for as with the game at the Tameside Stadium the Lions dominated the first half hour without getting the breakthrough their play deserved.

During which time, Scott Garner's powerful header came back off the bar, Joel Senior did well to clear Kingsley James effort off the line.

With the visitors' defence blocking or getting bodies in the way of everything the Lions threw at them, it looked like a case of history repeating itself.

But even the loss of lively striker Lewis Archer, who had led the line superbly, just before the break, it failed to dent the home side's resolve.

Archer's replacement, Kayode Odejayi, had the ball in the net early in the second half but his joy was shortlived by an offside flag.

Undaunted, Guiseley kept pressing and their persistence paid off in the 76th minute when they were awarded a throw-in on the right.

The ball found its way into the area where Purver controlled it under pressure before shooting under keeper Cameron Mason, much to the relief of the home support who had last seen their team win a league game at Nethermoor in October.

The Lions' win proved even more crucial in the light of the other results on the evening.

FC United of Manchester drew 3-3 at home with York City, despite holding a 3-1 lead at one stage and Ashton United’s 2-1 reverse at Stockport now leaves them, together with FC United of Manchester five and six points, respectively, adrift of safety at the foot of the table while cash-strapped Nuneaton already looked doomed.

In his post-match comments, Guiseley joint manager Russ O'Neill said: "I was really pleased with the performance. We can't affect the results going on elsewhere, we can only affect what's going on around us.

"We got a clean sheet and the much-needed three points was well deserved.

"It was a very similar game to the first time we played Curzon Ashton. We dominated but just couldn't put the game to bed in the first half.

"We were edgy tonight coming off the back of four 1-0 reversals, but we've had two great weeks of training and I'm glad we've got the three points for everybody at the football club."

Team: Dewhurst, Halls, Cantrill, Purver, Langley, Garner, Felix (Morrison 65), Barkers, Archer (Odejayi 41), James, Dyche (Moyo 90). Subs: Moyo, Digie, Morrison, Clayton, Odejayi.