Report by: Cayden Sands

GUISELEY'S play off hopes took another huge dent with a 2-0 defeat to Warrington Rylands at a blustery Nethermoor Park on Saturday.

This defeat and other results going against them means the Lions’ chances of a play off berth have become even slimmer, leaving a difficult challenge for returning interim boss Liam Tongue.

The hosts began the game on top, enjoying more of the early chances and having opportunities to make an impact from some set pieces, but the wind meant that these opportunities, particularly the corners, could only drift hopelessly out of play in the air, giving both sides a clear idea of what to expect as the game progressed.

Guiseley continued to show promise as the game approached the 20 minute mark, with Prince Ekpolo being anywhere and everywhere on the pitch, whilst the likes of Kallan Murphy and Gabriel Johnson also showed promise when chasing the ball and creating opportunities, but the conditions and a lack of bite in key moments meant that the scores stayed level up to this point.

Perhaps the game’s best opportunity at this point came on 25 minutes when following a mishap at the back for Rylands, Johnson found himself able to tee the ball off to the waiting boots of Murphy, but the Irishman’s shot found itself blocked before drifting away from the penalty area and giving the visitors some breathing room.

Following that chance, Rylands found themselves able to play their best football of the game and managed to create a handful of promising chances, but Guiseley’s back line stood firm and managed to dispel these moments, though they might have felt let off when Djavan Pedro sent a 33rd minute shot flying over the bar after finding himself in an ideal position against Ollie Battersby.

The Lions managed to recover from this spell and approached half time whilst managing to create some more chances, but again they failed to capitalise on them, with the most notable of these being a 43rd minute corner that found the head of Tom Denton in the box, but this would go out of play and fail to trouble Luke Pilling, meaning the teams would go into the break evenly poised, both in the scoreline and the overall balance of play.

The visitors began the second half with both the wind and the balance of play in their favour, with Pedro again missing a huge chance before the resulting corner sprang the hosts’ backline into action, clearing the ball off the line after a number of close range efforts before eventually getting it out of the box.

The game returned to its even footing from here and Guiseley found themselves back in a habit of creating half chances that offered very little reward, a factor that Rylands found themselves almost able to capitalise on again, but defensive heroics from the Lions ensured that the Chesire side were kept out a little longer.

However, the visitors wouldn’t have to wait long to finally take the lead in the 64th minute after a good move on the counter allowed the ball to roll to the feet of Momodou Touray, who hit a thunderous shot past Battersby and into the back of the net to give Rylands a lead that they will feel they deserved after their series of strong spells.

Following the goal, the game’s pace slowed down dramatically in time with the wind, a factor that affected the hosts’ ability to stage a comeback, with the injury to Aidan Walker only adding to an already difficult predicament for Tongue’s side.

Adding insult to injury, the visitors secured their victory in added time when substitute Dan Cockerline was left unmarked at close range, allowing him to poke the ball past Battersby and all but put Guiseley’s play off hopes to the sword as a result, ensuring that a difficult period on the pitch continues for the Lions as the season draws to its conclusion.

Team: 1. Ollie Battersby, 2. Luke Partington, 3. Reece Kendall, 4. Prince Ekpolo (84′ Chippendale), 5. Aiden Walker (74′ Ashman), 6. Jameel Ible (C), 7. Tom Pratt, 8. Luke Mariette, 9. Tom Denton (62′ Afuye), 10. Gabriel Johnson and 11. Kallan Murphy.

Subs: 12. Josh Ashman, 14. Callum Chippendale, 15. Michael Afuye, 16. Jordi Nsaka and 17. Adam Dawson.