Guiseley AFC 2 v 2 Ebbsfleet United (Vanarama National League)
Guiseley welcomed newly promoted Ebbsfleet United to Nethermoor for the start of the Vanarama National League season. Adam Lockwood give debuts to a number of summer signings including on loan Blackpool striker Raul Correia.
As with most of the pre-season games it was the visitors who started the stronger of the two sides and should have taken the lead in the very first minute, as Sam Magri headed over the Guiseley crossbar from three yards with only goalkeeper Jonny Maxted to beat.
Just four minutes later, following a Powell free-kick the ball was headed into the path of Sam Magri by Winfield, but his shot was well saved by Jonny Maxted and Magri blasted the rebound over the crossbar from five yards.
The visitors continued to put press and had another excellent chance to take the lead on thirteen minutes, when Weston sent another cross into the area which Darren McQueen flung himself towards, but he could only send his diving header wide of the target.
Against the run of play the home side took the lead on sixteen minutes, as Kevan Hurst chipped a corner to the edge of the Ebbsfleet box and John Rooney hit an outstanding half volley that gave Ashmore in the goal no chance as it flow into the roof of the net.
After the goal, the Guiseley midfield took control of the game with some excellent one touch football and outstanding passing from Hurst, Rooney and Molyneux that created a number of chances for both Reece Thompson and Raul Correia.
On thirty minutes an excellent through ball from Williams put Reece Thompson clear of the Ebbsfleet back-four running towards goal, however Luke Coulson brought him down from behind which left the home supporters appealing for a red card, which the referee waved away.
Raul Correia was next to test the visitors defence as he picked the ball up on the halfway line before running at goal and going passed a number of defenders. Just as the striker was about to pull the trigger inside the area, Kenny Clark made a crunching tackle to end the attack, making the half-time score 1-0 to Guiseley.
The second half started in the same way as the first with the visitors putting pressure on the home defence. The pressure told on sixty-two minutes as Luke Coulson broke down the right wing before taking the ball to the by-line before crossing the ball into the area for McQueen to slot the ball past Jonny Maxted to make the score 1-1.
Just three minutes later, Coulson under pressure in defence sent a long ball over the Guiseley back-four for McQueen, who outpaced his marker and slotted the ball past the advancing Jonny Maxted to put the visitors 2-1 head on sixty-six minutes.
The visitors could have added a third on seventy minutes, when Kedwell had a header that he sent back into the box whilst positioned at the far post. McQueen managed to collect the ball inside the box but his shot was charged down as Guiseley defence.
Guiseley drew level on seventy-seven minutes, when substitute Frank Mulhern opened up the EbbsFleet defence before taking a shot which clipped the post and bounced out to Connor Brown on the edge of the six yard box, his effort was superbly saved by Ashmore but the ball fell to Reece Thompson and from six yards he tapped the ball into an empty goal to make the final score 2-2.
Speaking after the game manager Adam Lockwood said, “It was a good game, with both sides having a go at each other, which meant the game was end-to-end at times. It was also tough game but they all are at this level. There were a few times in the game when I thought we could have played better, but there was also a lot of periods during the game were we played some excellent football so we still things to work on and improve.
It’s always nice to get a point on the board and I believe in the saying, if you cannot win the game then you make sure you don’t lose it. The players showed a lot of character today and the lads that came from the bench showed me that they can influence games late on which is a massive positive.
Adam Lockwood and his squad will now travel to the International Stadium, Gateshead on Tuesday evening to take on Neil Aspin’s side as they go in search of their first away win of the season.
Guiseley AFC – Maxted, Brown, Lowe, Wesolowski, Lawlor, Hurst,Thompson, Rooney, Molyneux, Correia, Williams (Subs) Hatfield, Purver, Mulhern, East, Atkinson
Ebbsfleet United – Ashmore, Winfield, Clark, Powell, Drury, Kedwell, Weston, McQueen, Payne, Magri, Coulson (Subs) McCoy, McLean, Miles, Shields, Mills
Goals – (Guiseley) Rooney (16), Thompson (77) (Ebbsfleet) McQueen (63,66)
Attendance – 848