Report by: Cayden Sands

A frantic 10-minute spell at the end of the first half was enough for Guiseley to secure a 3-1 victory over FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

This victory sees the Lions pick up their first win at home since the 1-0 triumph over Radcliffe in March, whilst ending the losing run that derailed their play-off ambitions.

The hosts came out of the blocks quickly, creating the game’s first good chance within a minute after Kallan Murphy gained possession of the ball outside of the box before laying it off to Ollie Brown, but the defender’s audacious effort only managed to roll wide of the mark and end that promising passage of play.

Murphy was in amongst the action again just a few minutes later, squaring the ball to Gabriel Johnson inside the box, and the striker seemed to have given Guiseley the lead, only for the linesman’s flag to have other ideas.

Though the game’s pace slowed down from there, the Lions still enjoyed the majority of promising sequences and were doing well to shut down any advances that FC United tried to make, but this didn’t mean much for the scoreline, with it remaining goalless as the 15 minute mark passed by.

The visitors did manage to find a way back into the game and themselves began to limit any creativity that the hosts could muster up, but some more good play at the back from the likes of Jameel Ible and Brown ensured that Guiseley’s positive start didn’t go to waste, and with plenty of time still to play, ensure that plenty of opportunities to build on the positives were created.

This fact would come to pass for the Lions in the 34th minute after Brown won a corner that was swung in by Adam Dawson before finding the head of Reece Kendall, who tucked the ball an open net to give the hosts a deserved lead, with only a minute passing before the lead was doubled thanks to another contribution from Brown that led to an own goal, creating more for the Nethermoor crowd to enjoy and giving Guiseley a double reward for their performance so far.

However, the manic minutes would continue up to half time, with FC United winning a 41st minute penalty that was converted by captain and former Lion Paul Ennis to give the vocal visiting support something to shout about after their consecutive setbacks, whilst also setting up continued excitement for the rest of the game.

Just as the clock passed 45 minutes, the Lions grabbed a third goal out of nowhere a defensive blunder in which George Murray-Jones palmed the ball away to the feet of Johnson allowed the hosts’ leading scorer to cross the ball to an open Murphy, who pulled off a Rooney-esque overhead kick into an open net to restore Guiseley’s two goal lead, a much needed reprieve as the whistle sounded for half time.

Despite a slow start to the second half in terms of big chances, an early talking point came in the 50th minute when following a tackle on Murphy, the referee would brandish a second yellow card to Charlie Oliver that saw the visitors reduced to 10 men at a time when any sending off would be hugely detrimental, but they got a slight let off when the resulting free kick from Adam Dawson failed to hit the target.

From there the game entered its quietest portion up to the hour mark and neither side showed much promise, but this changed in the 64th minute after FC United’s Lewis Gilboy latched onto a through ball before unleashing an effort that was well saved by Ollie Battersby before going out for a corner that would ultimately result in little of note.

The half’s slow pace continued following this little glimmer of an opportunity for the visitors, though this would offer Guiseley the perfect chance to begin the process of consolidation, something that they looked to be managing well as the visitors offered very little in terms of problems for the Lions to deal with as the game’s last 10 minutes arrived.

Brown once again found himself in amongst the big moments in the 87th minute, pulling off an impressive dribble into the box before using some footwork to set up possibly the hosts best opportunity of the half, but the visitors defence got there at the last moment to prevent a possible goal that would have further dampened their afternoon.

This would prove to the game’s last big moment, a fact that allowed the hosts to hold out to full time and seal a much deserved victory that ends their negative run of results, whilst also giving them a brilliant platform to build on as the season enters its final week, with Guiseley’s next challenge coming in the form of Worksop Town at Nethermoor on Tuesday.