It was once again a tale of what could have been for United, as they were beaten 3-2 by Guiseley at Nethermoor Park.
Guiseley took the lead in the 12th minute thanks to a header by Jake Lawlor. United responded in the 36th and 38th minute through Sean McGinty and Ruairi Keating respectively. United then were caught cold at the death and succumbed to two goals in the final minutes.
Robbie Herrera took the team today after United parted company with player-manager Kevin Nicholson on Thursday. He made one change to the side that lost 4-2 to Boreham Wood on Tuesday. Myles Anderson was rested, with Yan Klukowski moving positions from midfield to defence. Jamie Reid returned to the starting eleven after being on the bench in the week.
Guiseley started brightly and were the better side in the opening fifteen minutes. They made the most of their start when they took the lead in the 12th minute. Alex Purver rose highest to meet a corner, sending a header crashing onto the bar. Jake Lawlor was there to head in the rebound and give Guiseley the lead.
After a couple more shaky minutes, United came into the game. The wings were a source of constant danger, with Jamie Reid and Jake Gosling finding space and time.
Luke Young swept a delightful ball into the box in the 26th minute. Pittman and Keating reached for it, but neither were close enough to get a telling touch.
Gosling caused Guiseley’s left-back all kinds of trouble throughout the ninety minutes. Williams continued to retreat as Gosling faced him up. In the 30th minute Gosling tricked his way through two challenges. A little more composure and United would have taken the lead. He rushed his shot and sent an effort just wide of goal.
Just before United equalized they had to survive a shot from Connor Brown that struck Ryan Clarke’s near post. Clarke may have got a finger to the shot.
Stand-in manager Robbie Herrera had made a point of highlighting United’s lack of goals from set pieces before the game. In the 36th minute they remedied that. A corner from Luke Young was met by Sean McGinty with a powerful header – 1-1!
Keating missed a glorious chance by turning a header wide of goal in the 37th minute. He was to make up for it just a minute later.
Sean McGinty’s goal helped United build up a head of steam, and they took the lead just two minutes later. Ruairi Keating was played in by Jamie Reid. The striker settled himself and rolled the ball past Guiseley ‘keeper, Joe Green to score his third goal in two games.
From that moment on United were the better team until disaster struck in the final moments. Guiseley retreated and gave away ground that United ate up, especially down the wings.
Half-time came and went and United were straight back out to take on Guisley, and hopefully see the game home. They were even more dominant in the second half. A little too dominant.
Guiseley were conceding ground to the extent that United may have thought that the game was theirs. They created multiple chances, and other opportunities where a little more conviction would have paid dividends.
Guisleley had Rob Atkinson to thank in the 50th minute when his last-ditch challenge on Jon-Paul Pittman saved them conceding a third.
Five minutes later and Green comes to the rescue for Guiseley when a right handed save stopped United yet again.
Jamie Reid had an impressive match, able to stretch Guiseley down the left side and he was able to beat his man on multiple occasions. He had at least two opportunities to test Green but for last minute challenges from Guiseley defenders.
United threatened on so many occasions inside Guiseley’s box that the Yellow Army may have wondered whether they were leaving themselves open to a sucker punch.
Substitute Kevan Hurst equalized for Guiseley in the 87th minute. The ball did fall kindly for him, squirting in front of him after a deflection, but United should have killed the game off by that point.
Guiseley understandably pushed forward for the winner, and they scored one. Who scored it is still a mystery because it was after one of the largest goalmouth scrambles that many fans there would have ever seen. United came out on the wrong side of it, and to have been so dominant, but to have come away with nothing, will have hit the travelling Yellow Army very hard.
United will take the positives from the game into Saturday’s match against Solihull Moors at Plainmoor.
Guiseley: 13 Green, 2 Brown, 3 Lowe (Capt), 6 Lawlor (Molyneux 52′), 8 Hatfield (7 Hurst 69′), 9 Thompson (18 Mulhern 55′), 10 Rooney, 17 Purver, 19 Odejayi, 20 Williams, 25 Atkinson Subs Not Used: 12 Correia, 23 East
United (4-4-2): 1 Ryan Clarke, 23 Ryan Higgins, 5 Sean McGinty, 18 Yan Klukowski, 7 Sam Chaney, 8 Luke Young (capt), 4 Damon Lathrope, 11 Jake Gosling, 9 Jon-Paul Pittman, 10 Ruairi Keating (17 James Gray 85), 19 Jamie Reid (Andy Howarth 90’) Substitutes (not used): 14 Myles Anderson, 16 Rory Fallon, 20 Neal Osborn (GK),
Referee: Matthew Donohue
Attendance: 791 (Unsegregated)