Guiseley AFC 0 v 1 Hartlepool United (Vanarama National League)
Having been relegated from the Football League last season Hartlepool United arrived at Nethermoor Park still looking for their first win of the season. Adam Lockwood made a number of changes to the side that lost at FC Halifax Town, giving starts to Ashley Palmer Will Hatfield, Raul Correia, Danny East, Frank Mulhern and Callum McFadzean.
Adam Lockwood had asked that his side be ruthless and it was the home side that started the game with more purpose going on the attack after only three minutes, when an Alex Purver cross was met by Frank Mulhern, however his header from six yards came of the underside of the bar and bounced away to safety.
Guiseley continued to press with some excellent work in midfield between John Rooney, Will Hatfield, Alex Purver and Callum McFadzean, whilst the two strikers Frank Mulhern and Raul Correia were causing problems for the visitors. On fifteen minutes, a shoulder injury to McFadzean meant he had to be substituted and the game totally changed.
The last thirty minutes turned into a bit more of a midfield battle which caused the home side to fall back into that familiar pattern we have seen all of the season, were both sides have some good possession but failing to create an effort at goal.
The home side are lacking that spark they need to start attacking their opponents, using the wings to get behind the visitors defence in order to put in more telling crosses that the forwards can benefit from and therefore score more goals.
Craig Harrison’s half time team talk must have inspired the visitors as they come out in the second-half and scored just four minutes into the half, after some good work by Jake Cassidy down the right the ball found Lewis Hawkins whose first time shot landed at the feet of Jonathan Franks who smashed it past Joe Green and into the back of the net.
After the goal the next half an hour was very much like the first half, both sides having some good possession of the ball but they were not able to create anything in front of goal. The home side picked up in the last fifteen minutes and did start to put the visitors under some pressure, however Scott Loach took control of his penalty area punching the ball away and taking the ball to assist his defence.
Guiseley threw on Kayode Odejayi and Lee Molyneux in an effort to rescue the game and both had chances. First Molyneux fired a shot from a tight angle high and wide over the visitors crossbar, then Kayode Odejayi saw his header tipped over the bar by Scott Loach after the keeper had also denied Danny Lowe.
The later stages of the second half so some poor gamesmanship from a Hartlepool United side that were desperate to hang onto the three points. Every tackle was met with a loud scream and a Hartlepool player going down asking for treatment from the phyiso so that they could waste some more time.
The referee did become wise to the visitors tactic’s after about the fourth or fifth injury as he told players to get on with it, he did as well, add eight minutes of injury time but it was not enough and the final score was 1-0 to the visitors.
Speaking after the match manager Adam Lockwood said, “It’s disappointing again we had chances early on which we failed to take and we need to be ruthless. It is going to take someone to be ruthless and score and then it becomes a different ball game.”
The defeat now leaves the Lions third from bottom in the Vanarama National League with two successive defeats, having picked up only five points out of a possible twenty one it suggests an immediate improvement is required. This weekend will be another difficult fixture as the squad travel to former Football League club Leyton Orient.
Guiseley AFC – Green, Lowe, Palmer, Lawlor, East, Hatfield, Rooney, Purver, McFadzean, Correia, Mulhern (Subs) Brown, Hurst, Odejayi, Molyneux, Atkinson
Hartlepool United – Loach, Magnay, Harrison, Watson, Deverdics, Featherstone, Woods, Hawkins, Rodney, Franks (Subs) Richardson, Munns, Donaldson, Newton, Simpson
Goals – (Hartlepool United) Franks (49)
Attendance – 1,723