Coming into this game after four league fixtures, The Lions sat in second place in the table with ten points, having won three games (1-0 v Leamington [A], 3-0 v Stockport County [H], 1-0 v Worcester City [H]) and a draw (0-0 v AFC Fylde [A]). Visitors Gainsborough Trinity were in seventeenth place with four points after a win (1-0 v Hednesford Town [H]), two losses (v Barrow AFC 3-1 [A], v Brackley Town 3-2 [A]) and a draw (0-0 v Lowestoft Town [H]).
Guiseley AFC (0) 1 – 3 (2) Gainsborough Trinity
Guiseley: A. Holdsworth (62)
Gainsborough Trinity: T. Davie (27), C. Bateson (39), C. Higginson (68).
Under a grey sky and in squally showers, Gainsborough kicked-off this Bank Holiday fixture at Nethermoor. Almost immediately the action was halted as Guiseley centre-back Danny Ellis needed treatment for a knock to the head. With play restarted Gainsborough quickly settled into a solid looking 4-5-1 formation and were neat in possession in the opening five minutes.
However, it was Guiseley who created the first chance of the game, when good work from Nicky Boshell provided a decent shooting opportunity for Jake Lawler. This spurred the home side to dominate with full-back Alex McQuad getting forward down the left whenever possible, which in the opening quarter of an hour produced efforts on goal for Adam Boyes, Nicky Boshell and Gavin Rothery, although none troubled visitors keeper Mike Emery.
Gainsborough also had a sight of goal on fifteen minutes when Tom Davie did well out wide before firing a shot narrowly wide of the Guiseley goal. However, it was the home side who continued to press with Boyes and Nicky Boshell combining well to create shooting opportunities for each other as the game approached the twenty minute mark.
With the weather conditions not improving, the immaculate green surface was becoming greasy and a few sliding challenges were inevitable. From one such tackle Trinity’s Ciaran Toner was booked on twenty one minutes and he may feel a tad unlucky to have received a yellow card given the circumstances.
As the game reached mid-point in the half, The Lions continued to apply more pressure on the Trinity defence, with Alex McQuad continuing to be a dangerous outlet down the left flank. On twenty four minutes, Guiseley came very close to taking the lead when a shot from Danny Boshell hit the post with Trinity keeper Emery rooted to the spot. At this point Gainsborough weren’t helping themselves as they too often conceded possession.
However, on twenty seven minutes it was Guiseley who gave the ball away which allowed Trinity to break and Tom Davie struck a fine shot into the corner, which Steve Drench could not keep out despite getting a hand to the drive from the young forward to give the visitors the lead. To their credit the home side responded and on the half-hour mark Gainsborough keeper Mike Emery was brave in coming out and taking the ball at the feet of Adam Boyes as the Guiseley forward chased through.
Trinity though continued to work hard in all areas of the pitch, typified by forward Curtis Bateson, on-loan from Scunthorpe United, who created a chance for himself cutting inside before shooting over the bar. The visitor’s efforts were further rewarded on thirty nine minutes, when a cleverly weighted Ciaran Toner pass split the Guiseley centre-backs, where Bateson coolly finished past Drench, to put Trinity 2-0 ahead. Indeed Gainsborough were finishing the half stronger and after The Lions gifted possession once more, Tom Davie was given another sight of goal, although this time his effort was straight at Drench. Guiseley were struggling at this point and couldn’t wait for the half-time whistle.
However the agony was extended as there were three minutes of time added-on at the end of the first-half, which saw Guiseley desperately try and grab a goal before the break. However, despite seeing plenty of the ball they were unable to fashion a chance with a through ball which ran away from Adam Boyes on the wet surface, summing up a miserable opening forty five minutes for the home team.
There was no let-up in the wet and windy conditions as the players emerged for the second-half. Guiseley kicked-off, attacking the Otley Road end and were immediately on the front-foot with Nicky Boshell having a header that flashed wide. However, Trinity continued with their organised approach as in the opening half, as Lobjoit, Bateson and Davie continued to work hard up front and earned the visitors a corner on fifty minutes.
Guiseley though dominated the play for the next ten minutes with plenty of possession, but without creating a telling chance. With an hour gone The Lions manager Mark Bower was aware that he had to shake things up and introduced midfielder Jack Stockdill on fifty eight minutes and forward Oli Johnson three minutes later. The changes provided the breakthrough demanded by the home fans, as captain Andy Holdsworth fired in a curling left-foot shot beyond Emery. Suddenly Guiseley were back in the game and the crowd sensed that maybe an equaliser was possible.
However, that optimism was short-lived. On sixty eight minutes the visitors made their first substitution of the game as Connor Higginson replaced Billy Lobjoit. It proved to a masterstroke from Trinity boss Steve Housham as immediately Curtis Bateson got down the left and his cross was fired in at the far post by substitute Higginson with his first touch. However, this was pretty much the last action for Bateson as on seventy three minutes he limped off, replaced by Grant Roberts.
As the game entered the last fifteen minutes, Guiseley manager Mark Bower made his last substitution as Wayne Brooksby was replaced by Danny Forrest. It nearly paid dividends as Danny Ellis had a towering header turned round the post by Emery on seventy nine minutes. The Trinity keeper was in action again just two minutes later having to make a double save as Oli Johnson looked to slot home from the initial save. However, Gainsborough were holding firm and although Guiseley striker Adam Boyes had another chance five minutes from time, his header was wide and the home fans sensed it was not going to be their day.
With ninety minutes up, Trinity had five minutes of time added-on to negotiate before they could claim the three points. In the first of those the visitors had a chance to score a fourth, but after a good run the shot from Tom Davie lacked power and was easily gathered by Drench in the Guiseley goal. Despite it being a lost cause, The Lions continued to press and they created a chance on ninety four minutes when Gavin Rothery had room in the box to get a shot off, however as with much of the Guiseley’s efforts on the day, it came to nothing.
At the whistle, Gainsborough players and fans celebrated a well-earned three points after a thoroughly professional performance, whilst for Guiseley their unbeaten start to the season was over.
Guiseley: S. Drench, A. Holdsworth (c), A. McQuade (J. Stockdill ), B. Parker, D. Ellis, J. Lawler, W. Brooksby (D. Forrest ), D. Boshell, A. Boyes, N. Boshell (O. Johnson ), G. Rothery. Substitutes not used: R. Toulson, S. Dickinson.
Gainsborough Trinity: M. Emery, D. Roma (c), J. Lacey, C. Binns, A. Quinn, J. Picton, S. Russell, C. Toner, B. Lobjoit (C. Higginson ), C. Bateson (G. Roberts ), T. Davie. Substitutes not used: L. Davis, C. Salt, N. Plumtree.
Courtesy of David Granger, Gainsborough Standard.
David Granger (DG): So pretty much a perfect away performance.
Steve Housham (SH) Gainsborough Trinity manager: It was, we ‘ve come with a game plan and I said to the players before the game if we stick to it and we are disciplined…not many people will expect us to come here …we didn’t have the pressure on us to come here and win a game. We were massive underdogs. It might say they had about 75% of the possession, but it says Gainsborough 3 Guiseley 1. We were clinical and when we had the ball, first-half I thought we give it away too cheaply, but we stuck to our game plan and we did the job.
DG: The game plan seemed to be to press high and that really did cause problems for them.
SH: Yeah, I can remember when I first took over at the club and we played Guiseley, they are a good footballing side, always have been, and I did the same at our place. They can’t really hurt you if they are just playing from left back to right back, centre back, and we had to be patient and sometimes those sorts of teams can lose their patience and just look for long balls forward. Their movement was good and they are a good side, so we’ve got to take credit for that. We’ve come to a good side and beat them 3-1.
DG: A note on Tom Davie and Billy Lobjoit – first starts of the season. I thought they were terrific.
SH: Yeah, like you say…game Saturday. Me and Stampy (Assistant Manager Darryn Stamp) looked before the game, we had an inkling you know…I think they thought they just had to turn up. They looked a bit lacklustre in the warm-up, things like that and I said to our lads…fresh legs, with Tom Davie, Billy Lobjoit and Charlie Binns, who was magnificent in the middle of the park, all came in and were lively for us. Mike Emery in goal, not forgetting about him…it makes a good headache, but a difficult situation for next week now.
DG: Is there an injury worry with Curtis (Bateson) – superb today a goal and two assists?
SH: I think it’s just his ankle, just got a knock. Just having a joke that he can go back to a proper physio for a week. He won’t have to see our physio now and again…he’s got a proper physio to see daily. Fingers crossed he should be alright for next week.
DG: Defence looked resolute again, really defended the eighteen yard box well.
SH: We got asked questions today and I thought we answered them all. We didn’t look in any danger you know, the goal came from a long range shot, that’s all we restricted them to. There was the odd time where from corners they looked a wee bit dangerous, but we stood as soldiers, we were strong and like you say that’s near enough a perfect performance against a team that’s going to be up there come the end of the season. But you know, why shouldn’t Gainsborough be up there…we said we were going to surprise a few people. No surprise to me and the lads that we were going to come here and win today.
DG: Any news on the injures to your assistant Stampy and Bees (Paul Beesley)?
SH: Bees could be a bit longer than we thought, but hopefully he’s looking for next week as it’s his old club. Stampy should be okay, but we’ll assess that…we got a full week to assess it and we’ll see how they are – probably Thursday.
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DG: First start of the season, first goal. Just take us through it.
Tom Davie (TD), Gainsborough Trinity forward: It was a great way to start. I’ve had to bide my time and work hard to get into the team. The team has been doing well, but Houshy’s put his faith in me today and I hope I’ve repaid him.
DG: It was a brilliant strike; you had a tester just before that went wide. It was a good finish, how did you see it?
TD: To be fair I had one a couple of minutes before and I’ve got it in exactly the same position and luckily this time its gone it. But as a team I thought we were brilliant today – the defence was brilliant from Mike to Billy up front.
DG: Exactly, your manager has talked about how you stuck to the game plan, pressing high and how you did a really good job – you Billy and Curtis up front really worked your socks off today.
TD: We are all young lads so we have to learn off this experience. We came here with a game plan and we’ve all stuck to it and that’s what happens when you stick to it, we’ve come to a top side and got a good three points.
DG: Where do you go from here – you just going to keep working hard, knocking on the door and pushing?
TD: We’ve just not got to get complacent. We’ve got Bradford on Saturday. We’ll come in on Thursday and train again…then it’s another bigger push on Saturday.
DG: Do you think you’ve got a good chance on Saturday against Bradford?
TD: Yeah, I think…the lads are confident. The key is to keep our feet on the ground and do what we did today. Houshy will get us in Thursday, so I’m sure he’ll have another game plan for Saturday and if we stick to it I’m positive we’ll come out with the right result.