GUISELEY spurned the chance to put some daylight between themselves and the bottom five from one of their games in hand as they went down to a 1-0 defeat at Southport last night.

There was little between the two sides but given that it took 75 minutes for the Lions to muster their first meaningful shot on goal, the result was probably fair.

In an evenly-contested first half, Guiseley forced several corners without really threatening the home goal and it was Southport that went closest when Bradley Bauress’ free kick was plucked out of the top corner by young keeper Marcus Dewhurst.

The on-loan England Under-17 stopper then had lengthy treatment after Buaress had challenged for the ball and gone in with his feet high. The Southport man was perhaps lucky to only receive a stern warning from referee Scott Simpson.

The defining moment of the game came in the 54th minute, when substitute Jack Sampson gave Dewhurst no chance as he hit a swerving shot into the top corner with the outside of his left foot for the only goal of the game.

The Lions failed to muster a response and were thankful to Scott Smith for a goal line clearance just after the hour, which kept the deficit at just one.

The succession of misplaced passes and hopeful balls pumped forwards eventually changed when Rowan Liburd picked the pocket of Andrew Parry, only to see Dan Hanford smother his effort.

In an effort to freshen things up, the visitors replaced Smith and Cliff Moyo with Curtis Morrison and Paul Clayton.

This had an almost immediate effect as the former crossed for Kayode Odejayi to put his header just the wrong side of the upright.

Morrison again showed his potential shortly after but his cross was blocked and despite introducing the lively Lewis Walters for Odejayi, late pressure from the Lions failed to produce an equaliser, as they went down to their first defeat of 2019.

After the game, Guiseley's joint-manager Russ O'Neill said: "It was one of those games of fine margins and we've come out on the wrong end of it.

"We changed it round with 15 or 20 minutes to go to try and get back in the game and we caused them all sorts of problems.

"When you bring your substitutes on they've got to make an impact and I think they did that. Southport were hanging on to a 1-0 and they sat a little bit deeper.

"We tried to go more physical and it did make a difference. If we had equalised, I think only one team would have gone on to win it."