Halifax Town 4
Town staged a magnificent second half fightback to end Guiseley’s 100 per cent home record and record a much-needed Blue Square Bet North victory.
Beaten in each of their previous two matches, the Shaymen were 2-0 down after eight minutes and 3-1 down at the break when Guiseley bagged their third goal in first half stoppage time.
But Neil Aspin’s side were irresistible in the second half with a Danny Ellis own goal, a Terry Dixon strike and Lee Gregory’s second of the match.
And Guiseley were reduced to 10 men when substitute Joe O’Neill saw red a minute after Town had hit the front for the first time in the game.
Boss Neil Aspin brought in Danny Holland, Liam Needham and Anton Foster, with James Dean and Simon Garner dropping to the bench and Harry Winter dropping out completely.
He also brought in new non contract signing Jason St Juste on the bench, but there was no place for Nick Wood in the 16-man squad.
Prior to kick off the Town players formed a huddle, something they had not done previously under Aspin.
But it did them little good as they fell behind after a minute when Alex Davidson picked up the ball midway inside the Halifax half, moved forward 15 yards and fired in shot that slipped through the fingers of keeper Simon Eastwood and into the net.
The shellshocked Shaymen responded by playing the ball around well on the slick Nethermoor surface, without threatening Steve Drench in the home goal.
And the home side doubled their lead after eight minutes when a long ball down the middle of the field was flicked on by Lee Ellington and Alex Davison allowing Gavin Rothery to fire home from eight yards.
Dixon flashed a shot across the face of the goal a minute later, but it took a good challenge from Liam Hogan to deny Alex Davidson a clear run on goal as Guiseley broke quickly
And Ryan Toulson had to stretch to his full height to get a head on a right wing cross aimed for the same player moments later.
Holland found his way into the referee’s notebook midway through the first half as his frustration got the better of him and he spoke out of turn once too often.
Town had the chance to put some pressure on the home defence from a Tom Baker free kick, but Guiseley cleared comfortably and Scott McManus’s follow up from the edge of the box flew high over the bar.
Guiseley were back on the attack a couple of minutes later, Toulson blocking a Ciaran Toner shot with Ellington lifting the rebound over the top.
The Shaymen got themselves back into the game after 27 minutes after Anton Foster had been fouled just outside the home area.
Dixon curled a low free kick goalwards, Drench could only parry and Gregory was there to force home from close range.
A couple of minutes later Dixon clipped a cross in from the left for McManus at the far post, but his goalbound header was blocked by a defender.
Simon Baldry threatened a third for the home side four minutes before the break when he got a head on Jamie Clarke’s right wing free kick, but Eastwood saved.
And when Baldry flicked on for Ellington two minutes later the striker’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.
The Shaymen were given a real mountain to climb when Guiseley scored a third in the second added minute. Mark Bower’s free kick was flicked to Baldry who found Ellington and his cross was stabbed home by Rothery.
Danny Lowe picked up a pass from Holland early in the second half but hit a tentative left foot shot from 25 yards wide of the target.
But they were back in it again after 51 minutes when Dixon crossed low from the right and Danny Ellis, under pressure from former teammate Liam Needham, touched it past Drench.
Four minutes later the Shaymen were level for the first time since the first minute as Dixon peeled off his defender at the near post to volley home Baker’s right wing corner.
And they were within inches of taking the lead 60 seconds later, Gregory rising to head another Baker corner goalwards only to see the ball rebound back off the crossbar.
Dixon’s quality shone through again on the hour when he clipped in a cross for Holland whose flicked header went across the face of goal and wide.
The Shaymen were in the ascendancy but there remained the nagging feeling that they could concede at any moment and Hogan did well to head clear a Clarke corner.
Those fears were allayed when they hit the front for the first time in the game, Dixon again the provider as he sent in a left footed cross from the right for Gregory who tuned and fired home from close range.
Guiseley were then reduced to 10 men when O’Neill was shown a straight red for using an elbow on Hogan just six minutes after he replaced Alex Davidson.
A Baker free kick flashed across the face of goal and a Gregory header was turned behind as the Shaymen looked for a fifth.
But hearts were in mouths when Baldry went down in the Town box, with the referee waving away home appeals for a penalty.
And the only down side was a red card for sub James Dean following the final whistle.