Torquay United 1 Guiseley 2: Teenage fan Josh Brayshaw steps in after referee limps off injured

Teenage Guiseley fan Josh Brayshaw made the long trip to watch his side play Torquay United in the National League - and ended up stepping in after referee Simon Barrow pulled up injured.


The 18-year-old - a rising star within the West Riding County FA referees set-up - was drafted in as fourth official in the 24th minute, still wearing his jeans, after the referee limped off with an ankle injury.

An assistant took over in the middle and Brayshaw replaced the fourth official, who took over on the line.

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He said: ”At first I was in my jeans but at half-time I changed into something more appropriate, a tracksuit. I switched into match official mode and it wasn’t Guiseley anymore, it was just whites v yellows.”

Brayshaw had travelled down to Torquay on Friday with the Guiseley AFC Supporters’ Club.

They had stayed overnight in a hotel and he was looking forward to supporting his team at Plainmoor.

His day soon changed and Josh said: ”It was not how I had planned my day but it was a great learning experience for me. A job needed doing and I did it.

”It was a great opportunity to add to my experience as a match official.”

After the game The Supporters’ Club bus would not wait for him to make the return journey so he travelled back to Guiseley on the team bus.

Brayshaw, who started refereeing at the age of 14, officiates at games most days of the week, either as a referee or on the line.

He operates in leagues varying from Sunday football to the West Yorkshire League Premier Division.

He has also officiated in Guiseley U-19 Academy games and Guiseley Vixens games in the FA Women’s Premier League.

On the pitch, 10-man Guiseley staged a remarkable comeback to secure victory and keep Torquay mired in the relegation zone.

Both teams struggled to get into their rhythm after a long delay, but the game sprang into life thanks to a 25th-minute strike from Gulls skipper Aman Verma - his second goal of the season.

The Gulls nearly doubled their lead when Brett Williams’ header from Luke Young’s corner crashed against the crossbar.

Guiseley’s hopes of salvaging anything from the game were dealt a severe blow 10 minutes into the second half when Jake Lawlor received a second yellow card for a late challenge on Dan Sparkes.

But they equalised in fortunate circumstances when a long ball struck the shoulder of Jake Cassidy who kept his composure to steer the ball home.

And the West Yorkshire side clinched the points 11 minutes from time when Will Hatfield controlled a long punt from goalkeeper Jonny Maxted before guiding the ball past Brendan Moore.