Guiseley 2 Histon 1
Guiseley strengthened their hold on second spot in the Blue Square Bet North but their home win over struggling Histon was far from straightforward.
It was second top at home against second bottom and when the Lions broke the deadlock as early as the eighth minute, another easy victory looked to be on the cards.
Histon soon proved they were in no mood to roll over though and they turned in a good display.
Lions boss Steve Kittrick accepted his side were second best at times.
“That was a good three points because they made it very difficult for us,” he said.
“What disappoints me is that people have paid to watch it and our second-half performance was just not good enough.
“We certainly haven’t given them their money’s worth or done enough to make them want to come back again.
“It is difficult because we had five regulars missing so we have players playing out of position. We have asked them to do a job for us and they have proved that they can’t do it. A few people have let themselves down when the opportunity was there for them to make a big impression.”
The game had begun so well for the home side. A low cross from the right flank just eluded Kevin Holsgrove but Gavin Rothery collected the ball and side-footed in from ten yards.
The young Histon players bounced back with a good attack minutes later that led to Steve Drench diving to palm a shot from Zac Mills around his post.
Guiseley almost doubled their lead in the 14th minute when Holsgrove streaked through the visitors’ defence onto a long through ball. The striker’s initial shot was parried by Histon keeper Calum Kitscha and before Holsgrove could turn the loose ball in, a desperate sliding challenge from a defender cleared the ball for a corner.
Kitscha handled well under pressure when Guiseley pushed forward and Mills, the visitors’ very attack minded right back, fired in several shots to keep Drench occupied.
Walshaw was superbly picked out by a diagonal cross from Rothery but screwed his volley wide and an Andy Holdsworth free-kick was headed for a corner inside a packed Histon area as the first half drew to a close.
There were few chances in a very tight second half. Histon’s Lewis Taaffe was almost through just before the hour but Drench was alert to the danger and raced off his line to win the challenge.
The visitors forced a corner in the 68th minute and came close to levelling the match but were stunned as Guiseley turned defence into attack to devastating effect. When the flag-kick was whipped in Danny Fitzsimmons’ header was goal-bound but headed off the line by Jamie Clarke, which started a counter attack, the conclusion of which was Josh Wilson drilling the ball into the bottom corner, despite Kitscha getting a hand to it.
That should have settled the match but the home nerves were shredded again eight minutes from time when Histon forward Taaffe finally got his goal.
Following a break down the right, Taaffe rifled the ball into the top right-hand corner from just inside the area.
Fingernails were still being bitten in the third minute of time added on when Holsgrove picked up a yellow card for preventing a free-kick from being taken quickly as Guiseley tried every trick to run the clock down.