Guiseley AFC 1 Harriers 2 FA Trophy 1st Rd
away fans: 50 approx
Harkness puts Harriers through in last minute
The Harriers scrapped their way into the next round of the FA Trophy tonight after a Jonny Harkness goal from a free kick gave them a last gasp win. The win, against a plucky Guiseley side gives them another away trip in round two with an equally long haul down to Weymouth.
With a side unchanged from the Cambridge win two weeks ago the Harriers started the game by going a goal down within three minutes. The incredibly tall James Hanson got onto the end of a long throw in and volleyed the ball past Scott Bevan with the Harriers side still half asleep.
The Leeds based side continued to put the home advantage and the knowledge of their pitch to good use and pressed the Harriers for the first quarter of the game but only Michael Betts came close to scoring again with a shot that was blocked by Mark Creighton.
Iyseden Christie saved the Harriers faces when he blocked a shot from Dunning on the line but then turned poacher himself when he also had a shot on goal in the sixteenth minute but that effort went well over the former Southport keeper, Steve Dickinson, goal.
Slowly the visitors got on top of the game but without ever looking convincing enough to score. We had chances from Russ Penn and Justin Richards but good defending kept out Penn and Richards effort went just wide.
In the final seconds of the half we should have drawn level when Michael Blackwood raced into the box and took a shot at goal. Tom Agus blocked the shot but it fell for Christie to slide the ball in but again good defending by Guiseley saw Danny Ellis block the goalbound ball on the line again.
HT: 1 - 0
With the start of the second half you would have expected the half time talking to from Mark Yates to have made some kind of impression but that was not the case. The home side carried on from where they left off by taking the game straight to the Harriers.
In an imitation of the first few minutes of the game it was Hanson who could have scored once more but this time we had Creighton to thank for stopping him scoring when he threw himself in front of the goal bound shot. Creights was also there when it mattered to stop Mark Smith getting in a free header on goal.
After ten minutes of the half the Harriers manager, Mark Yates, decided to make a few changes and swapped out Justin Richards and Gavin Hurren for Matt Barnes-Homer and Jonny Harkness. Andy Ferrell moved into the midfield alongside Russ Penn in an effort to win the ball occasionally.
There was still no real improvement in the Harriers play and Guiseley kept plugging away trying to get a second goal but then, against the run of play, the Harriers drew level.
Christie got onto the end of a great pass from Barnes-Homer but his strong shot hit the post after being deflected by Wilford. Russ Penn then dived in to collect the rebound and eventually he managed to force the ball over the line despite the best efforts of the Guiseley defenders in trying to stop the ball entering the net.
From the re-start it may not have mattered because Guiseley came close to going back into the lead. Stuart Whitehead made an error with a clearance header that fell straight to the feet of Dean Walters and Scott Bevan had no choice but to rush off his line to narrow the shooting angle and thankfully it worked because Walters somehow contrived to lose direction and sent his shot into the side netting.
A replay was looking to be the likely outcome of the game now and Yates sent on Michael McGrath in place of Simon Russell. The change gave us more impetus and McGrath put in a few good crosses but sadly no one seemed to be capable of converting them into goals.
With the whistle about to blow for full time up popped the free kick specialist Jonny Harkness. Russ Penn was sent sprawling by Aaron Wilford outside the area and, with the offence in Harkness range, the substitute sent in one of his better free kicks, straight into the top corner of the net.
The Harriers had made it through to the next round but, as usual with us, we don't make it easy for ourselves. Guiseley must have been gutted to lose to such a late goal and robbed of their moment of glory but can be pleased that they made it very hard for us.