Lions fail to roar in 9-goal thriller

Guiseley’s deadly duo; Kayode Odejayi and Rowan Liburd. Image Credit [Will Pickworth]

Guiseley AFC’s winless run at home was extended on Saturday as they went down in a 9-goal thriller to Boston United. Despite a spirited display and a clinical Rowan Liburd hattrick, it was not enough for The Lions as they lost 5-4, meaning that they haven’t won a home league game since 13th October; a 2-1 victory over Brackley Town.

The Gryphon was back at Nethermoor Park after the festive and New Year period where Guiseley won 2, drew 4 and lost 3 which has seen them slip down the table into a potential relegation battle.

The hosts lined up in a 3-5-2 formation and the contest started quietly but it flew into life after 15 minutes as an Andi Thanoj shot was deflected onto the bar by Will Thornton, with Gavin Allot tapping home the rebound for the visitors. However, just three minutes later, after some brilliant work from Liburd, holding off three Boston defenders, the ball was laid out wide to the ever-reliable Cliff Moyo, who floated an inch-perfect cross to the back post which Kayode Odejayi powered home to continue his fine scoring run, netting his fifth goal in his last seven games.  Two minutes later and scorer turned provider as an delightful through ball from Odejayi found Liburd who calmly slipped the ball past George Willis to mark a dramatic turnaround. Yet, the madness continued, as on 22 minutes, Andy Halls was caught on the wrong side of Rollins, who slotted home, before some more poor defending was on display five minutes later as Guiseley failed to clear, with Lewis Gibbens laying the ball off to Rollins to score a quick-fire double. Guiseley nearly equalised before half-time as Liburd’s shot was parried, with Alex Purver, stretching, agonisingly seeing his shot hit the post and the hosts went in 3-2 down in a breath-taking first half.

Kayode Odejayi continued his fine goalscoring run. Image Credit [Guiseley AFC]
The second half began in equally frantic fashion and The Lions levelled on 47 minutes as a Niall Heaton long throw-in caused chaos in the Boston box and Purver’s scuffed effort fell to Liburd, who finished well.  Guiseley then nearly took the lead when Thornton headed narrowly wide from a George Cantrill corner. The hosts continued to push for a winner, but Boston looked a threat on the counter attack and Max Wright forced Marcus Dewhurst into a good save in the Guiseley net. The visitors took the lead on 71 minutes as, after a well-worked short corner, Brad Abbott finished emphatically. Just four minutes later, Boston extended their lead when a ball into the box wasn’t dealt with and Gibbens headed home. Despite Guiseley throwing everything at Boston in what became biblical conditions in the torrential rain, Liburd’s goal in injury time, heading home at the back post, completing his first ever career hattrick in the process, wasn’t enough as Boston held firm.


It wasn’t a good day for defending at Nethermoor Park. Image Credit [Will Pickworth]
Poor defending cost The Lions who now lie 17th, just four points above the relegation zone, looking over their shoulder, rather than up the league table, as had been hoped after their memorable cup run!

Guiseley: Dewhurst; Thornton (Clayton 83), Halls, Heaton; Moyo, Purver, Smith (Morrison 78), Hatfield, Cantrill; Odejayi, Liburd

Boston: Willis; Davies, Gibbens, Qualter, Jackson; Wright (Walker 56), Abbott (Harris 86), Thanoj, Wafula; Allott (Wroe 69), Rollins

Attendance: 725

Gryphon Guiseley MOTM – Rowan Liburd

Will Pickworth