GUISELEY remain perilously close to the drop zone after yet another narrow National League North defeat, this time losing 1-0 at Hereford.

The Bulls made the crucial breakthrough from a set piece deep into the second half of a dour struggle between two out-of-form sides. It was not a good advert for the division and the almost completely partisan crowd of 2,261 would have been justified in asking for a refund.

The first shot of the game was from the home side on the quarter-hour but Guiseley keeper Marcus Dewhurst easily gathered Eliot Richards’ low drive.

The first half ended with the Lions forcing three corners but, as Lewis Archer headed the last one over the target, the curtain was brought down on a drab opening 45 minutes.

Dewhurst made a fine save with his feet just before the hour mark after Hereford’s Mike Symons was played through by Lance Smith.

The substitutions of two former Guiseley men either side of that chance were the only other highlights, with James Wesolowski making way while minutes later James Roberts came off the bench in the hosts’ second change.

The winning goal was scored 11 minutes from time and even that failed to light up the game. The Bulls had a free kick after a foul by George Cantrill that earned him a yellow card. Danny Greenslade delivered and, after a mix-up at the back, Josh Gowling somehow bundled it over the line.

Guiseley could have snatched an equaliser on two occasions but Andy Halls headed over from a corner and home keeper Matt Yates denied Scott Garner in stoppage time, Jack Dyche firing the rebound over the target.

Lions’ joint-manager Marcus Bignot said: “Another 1-0 defeat and that’s four in a row now, we’re just on the wrong side of these score-lines.

“In all honesty the performance - I felt - wasn’t good enough to win a game of football but it wasn’t a performance that should have lost the game, and we should be going back up north with a point.

“We’re disappointed with the goal because it was something we could easily have dealt with, so the manner in which we conceded is hugely disappointing. But, again, the performance wasn’t good enough to get all three today but it wasn’t enough to lose.

“Both keepers haven’t been troubled at all today. Ours has had one save of note to make in that second half, apart from the goal, and that was it in terms of the home side trying to open us up.

“It’s a disappointing day but results have gone our way - we can’t keep saying that but it’s given us a perfect opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday now.”

The Lions host Curzon Ashton in a rearranged game. Striker Rowan Liburd was unavailable for the Hereford game as he was away on international duty with St Kitts & Nevis. His first call-up, he made his debut on Saturday evening in the 2-0 defeat to Suriname in the CONCACAF Nations League.