Hednesford Town 3, Guiseley 2

Guiseley’s promotion push suffered a blow at play-off rivals Hednesford Town as they slipped to defeat after leading 2-0.

A contentious afternoon saw some controversial decisions from the officials but that did not cover up the fact that the Lions let a good opportunity slip or that they put in a poor second-half performance.

The hosts were above Guiseley in the Conference North ahead of Saturday’s clash but only by a point. So the Lions missed out on leapfrogging them as the Pitmen stretched the gap between the sides to four points, a result that saw their visitors drop out of the play-off zone.

Hednesford started well but Mark Bower’s men soon shocked their vociferous supporters. Alex Johnson met a ball to the far post to slot in the opener in the 12th minute – and when his shot was only parried by the home keeper four minutes later, Adam Boyes netted the rebound.

But just three minutes later Hednesford halved the deficit when Tom Thorley found some space and fired past Lions keeper Steve Drench from the edge of the area.

The home side equalised following a corner on the half-hour mark. The award of the flag-kick was questioned by the visiting players but when it was swung in, Drench appeared to be impeded in a crowded area before Paul McCone netted.

More controversy followed when Danny Glover netted just four minutes later as the former Bradford Park Avenue and Halifax Town striker seemed to turn the ball in from an offside position.

The second half turned into a midfield battle as both defences tightened up and no more goals were added even though five minutes of stoppage time were played.

Lions boss Bower said: “It was disappointing to lose, and we could have played better in the second half, but you can’t go away from that game thinking of anything other than feeling hard done by.

“There were some decisions made that I’m still struggling to believe. How there was no foul given on Drenchy for the second goal? Even their substitutes were laughing about it when they ran past our bench. They couldn’t believe the goal was given.

“Their lad who scored the winner was almost on the line when the ball came in and when I spoke to the referee afterwards he told me that he thought the player was offside but he couldn’t overrule his linesman.

“We have got to be disappointed with the things that went against us but it was always going to be difficult going there and we have to look at the bigger picture.”

If Guiseley beat neighbours Harrogate Town at Nethermoor on Tuesday night, they will be back in the play-off frame.