Guiseley AFC 2 v 4 Alfreton Town (Vanarama National League North)
Russ O’Neill welcomed his former club Alfreton Town to Nethermoor Park for the third home game of the Vanarama National League North season. The Lions were looking to continue their excellent start to the season having lost just once in the opening five games.
Guiseley started well in soaring tempatures at Nethermoor Park, when a long throw found Aaron Martin at the near post in the first minute of the match, but his header was blocked and went for a corner. The resulting corner flashed dangerously across the six yard box but was missed by all and went out for a goalkick.
On nineteen minutes, the home side took the lead as Jamie Spencer played a ball through the middle which split the Alfreton Town defence which was collected by Aaron Martin who cooly slotted the ball past Jack Atkinson to make it 1-0.
Just five minutes later, Danny Clarke raced through the Lions midfield before being hauled down twenty five yards out. Bobby Johnson then curled an outstanding free kick passed George Sykes-Kenworthy into the top right-hand corner of the goal to bring the visitors level at 1-1.
The mood around Nethermoor Park changed after thirty minutes, once the visitors had drawn level the supporters in the ground went silent and the midfield and forwards stopped running into the spaces, which let the visitors get on top in the game.
This really showed just after the half hour as Hamza Bencherif collected the ball from goalkeeper George Sykes-Kenworthy at the edge of his own box and after looking for someone to make a run, in the end he had to run the full length of the pitch going past six opponents before taking a shot inside the visitors penalty area.
On thirty-five minutes the visitors extended their lead following some poor defending from the home side. Alfreton played some neat interchanges between Wilde and Clarke before Clarke back-heels the ball into space on the edge of the box, which Josh Thacker collected and shot into the bottom corner past of the goal passed Sykes-Kenworthy to put the visitors in front 2-1.
The visitors could have gone even further in front just before half-time when Amari Morgan-Smith went down under a challenge in the box. Alfreton players all claimed for a penalty kick but it was waved away by the referee. As the Alfreton players stopped to appeal Guiseley broke on the counter and got a cross into the visitors area but aaron Martin’s header was held by Atkinson at the far post to leave the half-time score 2-1.
Guiseley started the stronger of the two sides in the second-half and should have drawn level five minutes into the half, when Lee Shaw ran down the right-wing before crossing the ball into the Alfreton area were Aaron Martin hit a shot against the crossbar with Atkinson well beaten.
On the hour, a baffling decision followed as a forward ball was nodded harmlessly towards Atkinson but the referee deemed claimed the keeper had picked the ball up twice and awarded an in direct free-kick which was slammed home into the corner to the utter dismay of all associated in red.
The referee then made his second error of the game when Danny Clarke then went down in the box, but he awarded a free kick just outside the box. Bobby Johnson then stepped up but could only curl his effort over the Guiseley crossbar.
On seventy minutes, the officials had another nightmere as the linesman flagged for handball against Killock, then when the ball was launched upfield, the second linesman flagged for offside on Amari. The referee awarded the offside decision but then spoke to the first linesman about the handball, but nothing on the handball against Killock as Guiseley protested.
On seventy-six minutes, the Lions missed a big chance as Shaw broke free down the right and his square ball found Soleman a yard out, but somehow he fired over the bar with just the goalkeeper to beat.
The visitors then went staright onto the attack and were awarded a penalty as Wilde was caught in the area, Amari stepped up to convert with Sykes-Kenworthy getting a touch as he dived the wrong way to make the score 3-2.
It was a brilliant response given the circumstances of the Lions equaliser. The game was then sealed with on the eighty-third minute when Clarke prodded home after Killock’s header was blocked to make the full-time score 4-2 to Alfreton Town.
Speaking after the game joint manager Russ O’Neill said, “I dont think we started well this afternoon, but we managed to get the goal and then we let them back in the match with a free-kick and then poor defending. We got it back to 2-2 and then had to great chances but we weren’t ourselves today, we were off the pace which could have been the hot conditions.
We cannot let the conditions be an excuse, we had a number of chances to add more goals which we didn’t take and when you score two goals at home you should be able to win the games. It will be another hard game on Monday when we travel to Blyth Spartans and we will be looking to pick up another three points against the bottom of the league.
Guiseley – Sykes-Kenworthy, McNally, Nicholson, Barkers, Bencherif, Garner, Shaw, Spencer, Martin, Soleman, Johnson (Subs) Felix, Allinson, Starcenko, Digie, Scrivens
Alfreton – Atkinson, Clackstone, Wilde, Lynch, Killock, Qualter, Thacker, Smith, Clarke, Morgan-Smith, Johnson (Subs) Whitham, East, Tomlinson, Blake, Williams
Goals – (Guiseley) Martin, Spencer (Town) Johnson, Thacker, Morgan-Smith, Clarke
Attendance – 663