Guiseley were triumphant today in their Vanarama National League North game against Alfreton Town. Guiseley hadn’t scored in 5 of their last Vanarama League North home games and today they finally broke that barrier. The Lions’ new signing Dominic Tear was awarded the man of the match award after spearheading Guiseley’s attack. Former Guiseley player, Dayle Southwell scored for the visitors to pull the scores level at 1-1 but his efforts weren’t enough. Guiseley are now 5 points clear from relegation which gives them a comfortable barrier to go into their next game with. Alfreton carry on with their losing streak which is now up to three and they have also now conceded in the 2nd half in 14 of their last 15 National League North matches.
Straight from the off, Guiseley applied pressure and almost broke through Alfreton’s defence with a quick break from the kick-off. Both sides were applying pressure and clearly wanted to start the game off well. Branson gave an early free kick away in the 4th minute but Guiseley couldn’t make it work in their favour. Guiseley seemed to be the ones on top and looked to be the first team to strike. In the 8th minute there was a corner for Guiseley but nothing came of the set piece. Prince Ekpolo then instantaneously got on the break for Guiseley but ended up losing the ball.
It was clear to see that Guiseley had a set game plan from the start to isolate Alfreton’s veteran striker Matt Rhead. There was always a man on him and Rhead wasn’t able to play his role within the team effectively. In the 13th minute the Lions’ right back George Cantrill made a darting run which nearly split the Alfreton defence. The 15th minute was the first proper chance of the game where Lebrun Mbeka took the ball to the corner flag where it was then crossed and met by a lurking Latty-Fairweather but it ended up in the side netting. The attacking had been dominated by Guiseley at the start of the first half and the best chance of the game but Mbeku was caught offside. Oliver Brown was a focal point in the Lions’ attack and produced a lot of key passes.
The Lions gave away a foul in the 22nd minute at the edge of the box but Alfreton failed to make the most of it. Mbeku yet again created a golden opportunity in the 25th minute but he ended up losing possession and Alfreton regained the possession of the ball. After yet another blistering run from Mbeka in the 29th minute, he ended up on the ground and play was stopped.
Latty-Fairweather almost made it 1-0 to The Lions in the 31st minute but his shot narrowly strayed wide. Alfreton had their first real chance of the game in the 34th minute when Rhead had a headed attempt towards goal. Then, soon after, Nethermoor Park erupted a when Tear got the opener for Guiseley with a long-range strike in the 36th minute. In the 40th play was stopped yet again as Latty-Fairweather and Sutton had a scuffle in the box.
The first half was dominated by Guiseley and they seemed to be the team that wanted it more. Latty-Fairweather, Tear and Mbeka were the standout players of the first half. Although, Alfreton came out during half time early and set up in their formation. The attendance for the game was 498.
From the first blow of the whistle, Guiseley picked up where they left off and were pressuring Alfreton’s defence. Former Guiseley player, Dayle Southwell then levelled the game in the 47th minute with a close-range tap in. It was a good goal during which Guiseley’s defence couldn’t do much more to prevent it, Rhead towered over Hollins and flicked the ball towards Southwell.
Alfreton then had yet another break in the 51st minute which was stopped by Cantrill. Tyson broke through Guiseley’s midfield and then attempted to whip the ball in. The game quietened down for a short while after Alfreton had equalised and it felt as if neither side wanted to go for win. The high tempo football we saw in the first half wasn’t recreated from the start of the second half.
Since the goal was scored Alfreton seemed to be the team on top and it was as if Guiseley had settled for the draw. Alfreton had much more attacking intent than Guiseley and seemed to want it more. In the 64th minute Alfreton had a well built-up attack with each area of the team contributing. Guiseley then went and scored their second goal in the 65th minute. This again was a stunning goal from Tear which was started all the way back in Guiseley’s own half. Cantrill made a 40-yard run towards Alfreton’s box and then sent a peach of a ball to Tear who then calmly placed it into the bottom left corner. After the goal was conceded, Alfreton made the first changes of the match in the 68th minute when Tyson came off for Reeves and Wilde came off for Preston.
The 71st minute was filled with chants from the home supporters chanting ‘we are staying up.’ In the 72nd minute Guiseley got a corner which was easily controlled by Alfreton’s tall defence. Guiseley then had yet another chance in the 72nd minute where Haw collected the ball at the edge of the box from a misplaced pass by Alfreton’s number 2, Sutton. Former Guiseley player Southwell was subbed off for Butterfield despite scoring Alfreton’s goal. In the 77th minute Nicholson picked up the ball from the centre of the pitch and slotted the ball to Lund who was on the right wing, he then carried the ball to the far-right corner and then sent the ball across the floor to Hobson, who put the ball in the back of the net. In the 78th minute of the match, the first card was shown to Guiseley’s Brown who cost Guiseley a free kick on the edge of their box.
Reeves got the ball from Lund after an excellent throw in, he managed to turn away from Guiseley captain, Bencherif but narrowly missed, skimming the cross bar. Mbeka then pulled Guiseley back ahead in the 84th minute which was the least he deserved after such a stellar performance. Willis came out of his box to clear the ball but scuffed his clearance which Mbeka gladly collected and slotted it into an open net. In the 89th Guiseley made their first change of the match and brought Stones on for Haw. Alfreton got a 91st minute free kick but it came to nothing as it was kicked straight out of play by Branson. The match ended 3-2 in a game which was full of action and in which each team gave it their all.
Guiseley have finally ended their losing streak and managed to play some great football after winning 3-2 against a mid-table Alfreton. They are now 5 points from safety. Alfreton fans may be starting to wonder if their team is now underachieving with the talent they have in their ranks?