Football: Harrogate Town 1-2 Guiseley

Michael Woods in action for Harrogate Town. Picture : Adrian Murray.  (1303028AM7)
Michael Woods in action for Harrogate Town. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1303028AM7)

Harrogate Town squandered several guilt-edged chances and a one goal lead as rivals Guiseley grabbed a late 2-1 win at the CNG Stadium.

It was an entertaining final home match for Town as yet again they rued lacking a cutting edge.

The inspired Michael Woods handed Town the lead after six minutes but the attacking midfielder missed a host of oppotunities to double his tally.

And Guiseley forward James Walshaw made him pay with a second half brace, including a sensational overhead kick.

Man of the match Woods could have salvaged a point in added time but he skied a penalty well over after being hauled down in the area.

Weaver brought Craig MacGillivray back between the sticks after reserve stopper Jose De Veiga’s saw red in the 0-0 draw against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.

Scouts from several league clubs and Blue Square Premier side Luton Town were spotted at the CNG Stadium, with an eye likely on the young goalkeeper.

But it was Woods who stole the attention, and he steered his side ahead within six minutes.

Dan Clayton hit the byline and his left footed cross was met by Woods who headed past the Guiseley stopper Jacob Giles’ left arm.

Clayton then surged through the away side’s defence to pounce on a Shane Killock clearing header but his shot skewed wide.

A Guiseley free-kick caused problems inside the home box and it was only for Alan White’s goal-line clearance that Town maintained their lead.

Matt Bloomer and Luke Dean both missed glorious headers as Town continued to carve out chances on the break.

The away side dominated the early territory but the chances fell to Town. Woods burst through the centre but his decision to pass rather than shoot went against him when Dean shot straight at the ‘keeper.

The impressive Woods tormented the away defence throughout the half and a minute before half time he could have doubled his tally. The midfielder danced into the box from the left before unleashing a powerful drive which Giles tipped over.

Guiseley’s stopper Giles endured a shaky first half but it was his saves that kept his side well in the contest.

Colin Larkin forced him into action 10 minutes into the second half as he beat away a half-volley.

The away side’s response was emphatic. Keith Holsgrove’s deep cross forced MacGillivray to flap behind and from the resultant corner, the Lions grabbed the equaliser.

Dangerman James Walshaw lined up an overhead kick in a crowded area and spectacularly found the bottom corner, leaving MacGillivray no chance.

Stout defending from the away side maintained the level scoreline as Woods was denied from six yards before he teed up Larkin but the striker’s shot was blocked.

Woods then missed another fabulous opportunity as the link-up with Larkin again prospered. The 22-year-old this time striking straight at Giles with the goal at his mercy.

MacGillivray palmed away a Walshaw drive before Woods, again, surged through only for the ‘keeper to thwart him with his legs.

Town continually ran through the Guiseley defence and Dwayne Samuels became the next player guilty of missing a one on one, once again Giles saving with his feet.

Incredibly, the score had stayed at 1-1 until two minutes of late madness.

Walshaw struck his second with a fine left-footed finish in the 88th minute to give his side an unlikely lead.

From the kick-off Woods grabbed the ball and set about running at the Guiseley defence, only to be hauled down in the penalty area.

The man of the match stepped up himself but sent his spot-kick spiralling over the bar.

Elsewhere on Tuesday night, Harrogate Railway slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Bamber Bridge.

Jon Maloney put Railway ahead in the first half but Bridge fought back, and like Town, they conceded a last grasp winner.

Read this week’s advertiser for coach Billy Miller’s assessment on tonight’s defeat.