Guiseley 1-2 FC Halifax Town: Shaymen seal first win of pre-season
FC Halifax Town's pre-season campaign got up and running as they beat Guiseley 2-1 at Nethermoor.
It was a good test for Town, who certainly didn't have things all their own way against an industrious Guiseley side.
A trialist added to Martin Woods' penalty before Guiseley's Kaine Felix scored for the home side in a game which got better as it went on.
This was Guiseley's sixth friendly, and Town's third, and you could see the difference early on; the hosts looked quicker to loose balls, ran stronger off the ball and generally looked to be further down the pre-season road.
A Guiseley trialist should have at least hit the target having beaten Town's trialist centre-back to a high ball in the box, but headed wide.
New signings Billy Waters, Harvey Gilmour and Matt Warburton all started, but had little impact by the time they and a Town trialist completing the front four switched positions midway through the first-half.
Warburton was first to test Guiseley's trialist keeper after 26 minutes, collecting Waters' pass, but his effort was straight at the stopper.
Waters should have scored a few minutes later, from Green's pass, but his prod at goal was saved by the keeper low to his left.
Waters was the most impressive of Town's front quartet, working hardest off the ball and having the best chances.
The Shaymen looked decent when they attacked at pace, passing quickly and running forward off the ball.
But there was some rustiness, with too many stray passes and the defence getting stretched at times.
The pace of the game varied from slow build-up to, less frequently, some sharper attacking play. Guiseley had more variation to their approach, not afraid to play it long, whereas The Shaymen very rarely went more direct, but perhaps lacked enough pace to unsettle the hosts' defence.
Waters came close again a few minutes after the break when his shot from a tight angle was deflected onto the bar, before half-time substitute Kian Spence's follow-up shot was straight at the keeper.
Waters squandered a great chance by firing wide left-footed from near the corner of the six-yard box, before Guiseley's Jake Day headed off target when well-placed.
There was now much more of a tempo to the contest, with Town passing it quicker and playing with more attacking intent.
There were a glut of changes around the hour mark, including newest signing Jordan Slew, Jamie Allen and Woods, as the chances started to dry up again as the light began to fade.
Day was denied making contact with a cross from close range by the lunging tackle of Town's centre-back trialist.
Spence impressed for Town, always wanting the ball, trying to be positive and create, but the substitutions were a little disruptive to the visitors' rhythm.
But after a Town man was shoved over in the box, Woods blasted home from the spot.
Sam Johnson reacted well to keep out Lewis Hay's effort, and then Slew missed a golden opportunity, failing to connect with Allen’s cross at the far post from two yards out.
The chances were coming again now, with Felix blasting wide at one end before Slew saw his shot cleared off the line after showing good skill to make space for the shot.
The match could have gone either way, but Town's trialist number nine turned sharply inside the box and fired low into the net.
Felix then got one back for the hosts almost immediately, heading in a left-wing cross from close range, which Guiseley deserved.
Slew went close late on, while Town also hit the post in a flurry of chances.
Guiseley: Trialist, Brown, Nicholson, Ekpolo, Bencherif, Trialist, Felix, Cantrill, Day, Mbeka, Hey. Subs: Spencer, Damba, Metcalfe, Charles, Haw, Trialist, Lambton.
Scorer: Felix (85)
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 7
Halifax: Johnson, Trialist, Trialist, Bradbury, Senior, Summerfield, Green, Warburton, Trialist, Gilmour, Waters. Subs: Tear, Spence, Woods, Allen, Slew, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trailist, Trialist.
Scorers: Woods (72), Trialist (84)
Shots on target: 7
Shots off target: 12
Referee: Sam Barratt
Town man of the match: Kieran Green. Made the odd error, but was solid throughout.