Guiseley 1-1 FC Halifax Town

Actions from the game, Guiseley v FC Halifax Town, at Guiseley
Actions from the game, Guiseley v FC Halifax Town, at Guiseley

FC Halifax Town drew 1-1 with 10-man Guiseley in a full-blooded West Yorkshire derby at Nethermoor.

Kayode Odejayi headed The Lions into an early lead before John Rooney was shown a straight red-card shortly before half-time.

That proved the turning point of the contest, with Town the dominant force from then on, and equalising through Ben Tomlinson.

Halifax started slowly but got better as game went on, and were eventually good value for the point, but it could have been a different result but for Rooney’s red card.

The difference in Halifax from their win over Dagenham and Redbridge on Tuesday was startling at times, with their tempo far slower and much less quality on show in possession.

The blustery conditions and the bobbly pitch made for a roll-your-sleeves-up, get-stuck-in kind of game, and Guiseley made the better start, which was rewarded when Odejayi flicked-on a lofted free-kick from around 12 yards out, with Sam Johnson punching at thin air.

Town almost hit back straight away but Luke Coddington reacted brilliantly to keep out Connor Thomson’s rising drive from the edge of the box.

The hosts were sharper and hungrier than Town from the start, adapting better to the conditions and the pitch, closing Halifax down with an aggressive approach and asking questions of the visitors’ defence with high balls forward.

It was a no-frills approach but Halifax looked as though they couldn’t handle it, struggling to get into any rhythm, with passes going astray and poor control on the ball, which presumably was Guiseley’s aim; the more they could unsettle The Shaymen after their recent impressive performances, the better.

The lively Dayle Southwell twice brought good saves from Johnson before it went from bad to worse for Halifax as Niall Maher limped off injured.

Thomson was again denied by Coddington before Kosylo miscued the rebound back across goal, but Town looked half-a-yard slower than Guiseley, with Johnson again called upon to tip Rooney’s shot onto the post.

It hadn’t been pretty from Guiseley, but it was effective, with the home side full of the attitude and application Jamie Fullarton is seeking from Halifax.

Tomlinson had seen little of the ball up-front, as had Matty Kosylo; when the mercurial number seven doesn’t play well, Town usually don’t.

But Rooney was then sent-off after a mass brawl broke out following a Halifax corner just before half-time.

That changed the pattern of the game, forcing Guiseley to sit back and protect their lead a lot earlier than they otherwise might have.

Scott McManus and Matty Brown both went close with headers as Town forced numerous corners, but continued to look hesitant on the ball.

But Fullarton retained belief that Town’s patient approach would pay off, and it did when a horrible error by Harry Flowers saw him misjudge Johnson’s long kick forward, allowing Tomlinson to run clear and dink the ball cleverly over Coddington.

Jake Hibbs and Scott McManus both went close to completing Town’s second comeback victory in five days, but Halifax could still have left with nothing but for two excellent late saves by Johnson.

Guiseley: Coddington, Holden (Crookes 88), Palmer, Flowers, Liburd, Harvey, Rooney, Purver, Hatfield, Southwell, Odejayi (McFadzean 54). Subs not used: Green, Haworth, Roberts.

Scorer: Odejayi (14)

Shots on target: 10

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 6

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Maher (Hibbs 34), Brown, McManus, Thomson, Collins, Hotte (Denton 85), Kosylo, Hanley, Tomlinson. Subs not used: Nicholson, Oliver, Tuton.

Scorer: Tomlinson (68)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 10

Corners: 15

Attendance: 1,106

Referee: Andrew Miller

Town man of the match: Sam Johnson