Boston United 1 Guiseley 3: Jones strike not enough as the Lions maul Pilgrims

Mark Jones (left) heads United in front.
Mark Jones (left) heads United in front.

Boston United learned they’ve still got a way to go to compete at the top of the Blue Square Bet North table, following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Guiseley.

Two questionable decisions from keeper Dan Haystead may have helped the Lions come from 1-0 down to take the lead.

But on the day, the Pilgrims were quite frankly beaten by the better side.

Boston have recorded victories against highflyers FC Halifax Town and Chester this campaign.

But it was the consistency of the top teams that the Pilgrims have craved, but failed to replicate.

Guiseley is often the benchmark they look to at York Street.

And after Saturday’s contest, it appears there is still some work to be done.

A teasing run by Jason Stokes proved that the Pilgrims were up for it early on.

But he took one touch too many and Danny Ellis cleared before he could test Steve Drench with a shot at goal.

But Guiseley are nobody’s fools at this level, and quickly showed their intentions.

James Walshaw saw a low drive on the turn saved comfortably by Haystead at his near post.

And when Wayne Brooksby had space to shoot from 20 yards out, his effort went the wrong side of the Boston crossbar.

There was another heart in mouth moment when Andy Holdsworth curled an inviting free kick into the Pilgrims’ penalty area, but Josh Wilson’s glancing header was not enough to divert goalwards.

But United rode the storm and led in the 28th minute as Mark Jones’ diving header beat Drench.

It was the faintest of touches, but enough to put the Lions keeper off after he connected with Kallum Smith’s cross.

But back came the visitors.

Haystead did well to tip Wilson’s effort away before Tom Ward’s vital intervention denied United old boy Kevin Holsgrove a free header on goal at the back post.

A superb drive from Andy Holdsworth then brought the best out of Haystead

The hosts almost doubled their advantage moments later as Marc Newsham’s header was inches over, with Ian Ross the provider with a clever chip.

That miss came back to haunt Boston in the 43rd minute, when the Lions drew level.

Wayne Brooksby’s clever chip found the top corner, despite Haystead getting his fingertips to the ball.

Some fans behind the goal were blaming the stopper, who was in no man’s land.

But Haystead had originally rushed out to narrow the shooting angle, only for the ball to hold up and give Brooksby time to pick his spot.

Judging by his performance up to this stage, he probably deserved the benefit of the doubt.

United came within a whisker of taking the lead at the end of the half, but Smith saw his strike crash back off the post, with Jason Stokes’ follow-up lashed off target.

Just three minutes after the break, Guiseley moved in front.

Holsgrove scored against his old club, latching on to Ward’s back pass, beating Haystead to the ball and rolling into the open net.

This time, the keeper should have reacted quicker and cleared.

And that early goal somewhat killed the early exchanges of the second half, with the game slowing down.

However, Guiseley defender Mark Bower did excellently to use his strength to prevent Jones poking Newsham’s low cross home from close range.

Then, at the other end, Holsgrove was guilty of one of the misses of the season.

Haystead did well to parry Wilson’s ferocious drive, but with the keeper grounded the striker must surely bscore from eight yards out?

No. Instead, he hacked the ball wide.

For Boston, Smith saw another drive fizz inches over.

Poor Boston defending saw Holsgrove put Guiseley 3-1 up in the 78th minute.

Holdsworth’s free kick wasn’t cleared and, with space and time at the back post, the striker rolled home.

And that was enough to grant the Lions their first win at York Street, following five defeats and five draws.

United: Haystead, Marshall, Jelleyman, Milnes, Ward, Stainfield, Stokes, Ross, Jones, Newsham, Smith (Sanders 79); Subs (not used): Craven, Reed, Dyer-Stewart, Drury.

Guiseley: Drench, Holdsworth, Meynell, Rea, Ellis (Pearson 38), Bower, Wilson, D. Boshell, Holsgrove (Clarke 87), Walshaw (N. Boshell 72), Brooksby; Subs (not used): Dale, Giles.

Att: 994.

Ref: Michael George.