Oxford City 3 Guiseley 3
Guiseley were looking for a win that would have taken them into the play-off places in the Conference North but relegation-threatened Oxford City had not read the script.
A late fightback saw Oxford snatch a point that with five minutes to go had seemed an impossible task. A key player in Oxford’s comeback was a man who began his career very close to home.
Kayden Jackson started out at Albion Sports but won a pro-contact with Swindon Town when Paolo Di Canio was the manager. Jackson is currently on loan at Oxford, and scored one and weighed in with an assist for the second.
The Lions had taken the lead when Wayne Brooksby slotted in from close range after the home keeper had parried a shot just before the half-hour mark. Good work from Gavin Rothery led to Alex Johnson doubling the visitors’ lead 11 minutes later.
Oxford pegged one back before the break, however. Having been awarded a penalty they were initially denied when Guiseley keeper Steve Drench saved the spot-kick but Jackson followed up to net the rebound.
When Adam Boyes made it 3-1 to the Lions with a little over eight minutes remaining, the striker controlling a chip from Danny Boshell and then finishing well, the Lions should have been home and dry.
However, Jackson led a counter-attack and when his shot came back of Drench’s post, Oxford substitute Steve Basham tapped in. The drama continued and Darren Pond scored the late equaliser.
Lions boss Mark Bower said: “It was bitterly disappointing to drop two points because we were cruising. We said at half-time that it felt too easy and it’s never too easy in football because one strike, one lapse of concentration and the opposition are back in it.
“That’s what happened and that’s the second time now. After the Stockport County game we spoke about it and where the ball should be going when you’re leading and there are just minutes left.
“We have got the experience to see games out and defend better so it’s very difficult to explain how that got away from us.
“I thought the penalty was a ridiculous decision, it was never a penalty. But that gives them a lift going into half-time. Even so, we should have been four, five or six up before conceding those late goals.”