National League: Misery for Guiseley as FC Halifax Town take deserved share at Dover

GUISELEY's battle to beat the drop suffered a blow when they nwere hammered 4-0 by promotion favourites Tranmere Rovers.

Tom Denton went close with a second-half header for FC Halifax Town at Dover. Picture: Tony Johnson.

The Lions more than heled their own in the first half, but had no answer to four second-half strikes from the hosts.

“The first-half was a performance I was pleased with but the game charged on 60 minutes,” said Lions’s boss Paul Cox. “The goals we conceded were a bit sloppy, to have two games in three days meant changes were made to ensure we could look at the bigger picture for the game on Monday.”

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Andy Cook’s early strike for the hosts was ruled offised to spare Guiseley falling behind, before Adam Buxton’s cross was deflected on to the Lions’ crossbar. Down the other end, Rowan Liburd saw a header smartly saved before a fizzing cross from Tranmere’s James Norwood just lacked the finishing touch from close range.

FRUSTRATED: Guiseley manager Paul Cox

Norwood went close after the break for the hosts before finally breaking the deadlock in the 65th minute.

Five minutes later the visitors found themselves 2-0 behind though Connor Jennings’s strike before the match was effectively ended as a contest in the 78th minute when Jennings grabbed his second of the afternoon. Andy Cook added insult to injury to make it 4-0 in the 86th minute.

While Guiseley suffered, Yorkshire rivals FC Halifax Town earned a welcome point at fourth-placed Dover Athletic.

Danny Clarke was sent-off late on for Halifax, who faced their second arduous away trip in five days after playing league leaders Macclesfield on Boxing Day, and produced another disciplined, resolute display.

FRUSTRATED: Guiseley manager Paul Cox

In a dire first-half, it took until 10 minutes before the interval for the first bit of goalmouth action, when Sam Johnson produced a fine double save to deny Mitch Brundle from long range and then keep out Ryan Bird’s follow-up.

Halifax looked far more of a threat when they kept the ball on the ground, with Macdonald dangerous down the right. The winger was denied a penalty just before half-time when he was challenged by Femi Ilesanmi, much to Billy Heath’s frustration.

Tom Denton’s header from Macdonald’s cross finally brought goalkeeper Mitch Walker into action after an hour as the contest gradually started to open up.

Bird drilled a shot wide on the edge of the box midway through the second-half, but Town stood firm to earn a deserved point.