Guiseley 0 v 2 Stalybridge Celtic (Vanarama Conference North)
Guiseley completed a busy weekend of easter fixtures by welcoming relegation threatened Stalybridge Celtic to Nethermoor Park. Despite being in the relegation zone at the start of play, in form Stalybridge have won three of their last four games (3 league and 1 Friendly) under new manager Liam Watson.
Stalybridge Celtic were outstanding from start to finish in this game, they won every 50/50 tackle, every sprint for the ball and they were committed to every challenge. If you had never been to Nethermoor Park before you would have thought Celtic were the team in play-offs.
The visitors had two clear-cut chances in the opening twenty minutes, both efforts fell to Chris Simms who beat Steven Drench in the Guiseley goal, but his effort was disallowed.
Ben McKenna attacked, cutting in from the wing, he could have taken the near post shot, but Chris Simm was far better placed for a simple tap-in, and McKenna found him with an inch perfect low ball.
Almost on the line, Simm smashed at the ball, and was horrified to see it rebound off the crossbar Stalybridge Celtic took the lead on twenty-six minutes, when Aidan Chippendale ran between two Guiseley defenders, before hitting a shot from the edge of the area passed Steven Drench in the Guiseley goal, to give Stalybridge a 1-0 lead.
Worse was to follow, shortly after the half hour mark as Danny Hall tripped Chris Simm with the forward clean through on goal, as the last defender Hall gave the referee no choice but to show him a straight red card.
From the resulting free-kick, Ben McKenna curled the free-kick over the Guiseley wall as keeper Drench watched rooted to the spot, the ball hit the crossbar before being cleared by the defence.
Stalybridge should have extended their lead on forty-two minutes when Aiden Chippendale chased down Ryan Toulson to win the ball, before cutting into the penalty area and crossing the ball to Ben McKenna who’s header hit Drench’s Crossbar before bouncing to safety, with Drench well beaten.
Stalybridge looked to kill the game off at the start of the second half and they extended their lead on fifty minutes, when Chris Simm saw Alex Mudimu completely unmarked at the edge of the box, fed him the ball and Mudimu hit a first time effort into the top corner, to give Stalybridge a 2-0 lead.
Guiseley looked to change things by using the pace of Oli Johnson, his technical ability got him into several good shooting positions, however a mixture of wayward shooting and excellent goalkeeping from on loan Derby County player Ross Etheridge.
At the other end, Chippendale’s cracking shot was brilliantly parried by Steven Drench, but that was nothing compared to Oliver Crowley’s first touch of the ball after coming on as a substitute, he latched onto McKenna’s well weighted lay off and Drench pulled off the save of the match to keep the score-line at 2-0.
At the final whistle, Stalybridge Celtic moved out of the bottom three, still with a game in hand on the teams around them and will next face play-off hopefuls, Boston United on the back of four unbeaten and three wins in four.
Speaking after the match manager Mark Bower said, ” We gave away a terrible first goal today, a big punt from the back that was flicked on and the lads through on goal to score.
Then came the red card and once you’re down to ten men its very difficult, I have to look at myself today, one or two of the players were 50-50 and I should have changed it around.
Today was a massive set back, I can stomach that type of poor performance once, but that cannot happen again. It makes it a tough game now on Saturday at Bradford Park Avenue and one we must win.”
Guiseley AFC – Dench, Toulson, Lowe, Holdsworth, Hall, Lawlor, Brooksby, D.Boshell, Boyes, N.Boshell, Johnson (Subs) Hendrie, L.Dickinson, Stockdill, Rothery, S.Dickinson
Stalybridge Celtic – Etheridge, Galinski, Wylie, Hughes, Regan, Potts, Chippendale, McKenna, Simm, Powell, Mudimu (Subs) Ennis, Crowley, Boland, Bentham, King
Goals – (Stalybridge Celtic) – Chippendale (26), Mudimu (50)
Attendance – 568