Guiseley 3, Gainsbrough Trinity 1
Guiseley kept their promotion dream on track with a win at Nethermoor tonight that saw them consolidate their fifth place in the Skrill Conference North.
Mark Bower’s men are in the last of the play-off places, with games running out for their rivals to dislodge them.
The Lions pushed forward from the off, with Adam Boyes and Wayne Brooksby particularly lively up front, but against a Gainsborough side still not safe, it was a tense evening.
The home side finally made the breakthrough after the half-hour when Alex Johnson netted a very good strike from the edge of the area.
The visitors almost levelled just before the break but a stoppage-time header was cleared off the line.
Guiseley started the second half as strongly as they had the first, and doubled their advantage through Boyes.
However, former Lions striker Darryn Stamp came back to haunt his old side as he replied for the visitors.
Any nerves were settled when Brooksby got the last touch on an attempt midway through the second half to deflect the ball past the visitors’ keeper.
Town skipper Leon Henry broke the deadlock in just the second minute, and Ernest Boafo added a second four minutes later.
Boafo wrapped up the win from the penalty spot just before the hour mark following a harsh award for a ball-to-hand offence.
Tomorrow night is a big occasion for Eccleshill United - but not in terms of league football as the Eagles are in the West Riding County Cup final against Harrogate Town.
The showpiece final of the County’s prestigious knockout competition is again being staged at Valley Parade.
Eagles boss Lee Duxbury is no stranger to the Bantams’ home after two spells with City and having visited as an opposing player in his Oldham Athletic days.
Duxbury is still professional in his outlook and has meticulously planned the Eagles’ preparations as his side try to beat the odds.
Harrogate are challenging for promotion to the Conference Premier, while Eccleshill are just too far off the pace in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division One to dream of going up.
However, cup football is a great leveller, and Duxbury has arranged a pre-match meal for his squad, as he did when the Eagles beat Harrogate’s league rivals Guiseley in the semi-finals.
Charley Flaherty opened the scoring in that 2-1 win, and it is a good omen for the Eagles that he returned from a five-week injury absence to make an appearance from the bench in Saturday’s 4-0 win at Hallam.
Leading scorer Marcus Edwards hit a brace in that game, one from the penalty spot, and he was the other scorer in the 2-1 semi-final win.
Elsewhere tomorrow, Silsden are in action when they host Abbey Hey in the North West Counties League Premier Division.