Image Credit [Alex Daniel]
It was a magical day at Nethermoor Park as Guiseley AFC defeated Cambridge United in a seven-goal thriller to secure passage to the Second Round of the FA Cup for just the second time in the club’s history. Goals from Will Hatfield, Cliff Moyo, Kaine Felix and Kingsley James had ‘The Lions’ in dreamland before Cambridge hit back through Jabo Ibehre, George Maris and Ibehre again to make it a nervy finish, but Guiseley held firm to secure a magnificent 4-3 win!
With 43 places between Guiseley and their opponents, it was going to be a huge challenge for ‘The Lions’. However, they started brightly with Will Hatfield’s effort narrowly going over after just 10 minutes. The hosts looked really up for this after a tough four game period without a win and Cliff Moyo produced a superb block to prevent Reggie Lambe putting the visitors ahead. Jabo Ibehre was then sent through by George Maris but he blasted his effort high and wide. Guiseley, boosted by the return to the starting line-up of Rowan Liburd, who started fantastically, linking up well with Louis Walsh down the left-hand side, were more than holding their own against their League Two opponents and it was them who broke the deadlock. It was a moment of magic from midfielder Will Hatfield as Alex Purver’s free-kick was cleared to the edge of the area with Hatfield taking the ball down, before firing past David Forde and into top corner from 25 yards in a goal worthy of all sorts of accolades.
Cambridge responded well however and Ibehre should have equalised having been put through one-on-one with Green after a perfect through ball from Jevani Brown, but the Guiseley stopper pulled off a fantastic save to preserve Guiseley’s lead. Then, with five minutes to play before half time, the ball was well held-up by Liburd who played in Kaine Felix down the right-hand side, who laid it off to Moyo and the right-back’s attempted cross looped over everyone, including Cambridge keeper Forde and into the far corner, sending the Guiseley fans into raptures.
It was 2-0 at half time and again it was Guiseley who started the second half the brightest. Niall Heaton’s free kick was only half cleared, and Felix picked the ball up at the edge of the box, twisting inside of Jake Carroll, before firing left footed into the bottom corner. This goal seemed to finally wake Cambridge up and Ibehre had another two great chances, heading over having beaten Green to the ball, before again firing over the bar after the ball had dropped to him from a Cambridge corner. He was made to pay for those chances as only two minutes later, after some great work from Felix in the corner, he played in Moyo who crossed perfectly for Kingsley James to backheel the ball home. 4-0 to Guiseley after 55 minutes! Who would have predicted this?
Guiseley nearly made it five soon after as Will Thornton rose highest from a Purver free kick, forcing Forde into a fantastic save away to his right. Yet, ‘The Us’ hit back after 65 minutes as Brown’s cross was deflected over Green with Ibehre tapping home. Guiseley started to look a bit leggy but were staying firm until with just one minute to go, the ball came out to Maris at the edge of the area, with the former Guiseley loanee finishing well past Green. Three minutes later, there was another for Cambridge as Ibehre poked home after a perfectly weighted through ball from Paul Lewis. The tension around Nethermoor was unbearable and Cambridge nearly equalised but Green held Brown’s effort, before a well worked move from Cambridge resulted in Maris blazing over the bar.
Finally, after what seemed like an age, the referee blew his whistle and ‘The Lions’ secured a memorable victory to march on into Round Two of the FA Cup.
Gryphon Guiseley Man of the Match – Cliff Moyo