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It's last-gasp agony for City in battle of the Blue Square Bet North's big cats

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

PENALTY:  Darren Edwards is felled by Guiseley goalkeeper Steve Drench

PENALTY: Darren Edwards is felled by Guiseley goalkeeper Steve Drench

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JUNGLE law may dictate that Lions tame Tigers, but this battle of the Blue Square Bet North big cats ended in a thrilling stalemate, writes James Young.

The Lions of Guiseley bit first thanks to a stunning Josh Wilson free-kick before the Tigers roared back with goals from Tom Webb and Darren Edwards.

And City went within seconds of upsetting their lofty title-chasing opponents before substitute Matt Wilson struck a late blow to earn a point for ten-man Guiseley.

Making four changes to a side that had claimed a 1-0 home win on Saturday, it was perhaps a surprise that City started so fluently.

Edwards shot weakly at Steve Drench after a neat move down the right and Steve Davies did similarly after committing two defenders with a jinking run as City started well.

But after James Walshaw fired a warning shot, quite literally, across City's bows Wilson opened the scoring with his moment of brilliance in the 17th minute.

The Tigers would not be calmed though. Matt Coupe headed weakly at Danny Andrews' teasing free-kick and Edwards tripped over the ball in the six-yard box when well placed.

But the City striker did better to wrestle possession on the right on 37 minutes, and his cross rebounded to Webb who thrashed the ball into the net left-footed from the edge of the area.

The crowd now awoken, the atmosphere became spiky and it culminated with Guiseley's Wayne Brooksby being sent for an early bath after an off-the-ball incident with Hogg.

Ending the first half on top, the Tigers started the second in style too and went perilously close to taking the lead just two minutes in.

Adam Mann skilfully broke free on the left, and although Edwards missed his cross Steve Davies did not.

But after taking a heavy touch the Welshman could only strike the outside of the post.

Mann again broke free and beat Drench but Aaron Hardy raced back to clear off the line, while at the other end James Walshaw brought a fine diving save from Mike Green.

But as the Lions pressed City became ever-more dangerous on the counter, and when Morford fed Edwards and Drench intervened City were awarded a penalty.

Edwards hammered home from the spot and City should have made the game safe in the remaining 18 minutes.

Morford missed a sitter as Edwards tried to return the favour from the penalty as the visiting defence became ever more stretched.

But if former Forest Green Rovers striker Phil Marsh's effort – superbly saved by Green – was not enough of a warning shot, the Tigers found themselves being bitten in injury time.

An almighty melee erupted in the box from a corner kick, and although a desperate Green and the City defence stopped a number of efforts substitute Wilson prodded home to earn his side a potentially precious point.

Gloucester City: MJ Green; S Rawlings (MF Green 67), M Coupe (T Hamblin 60), C Holland, D Andrew; S Davies (W Morford 65), L Hogg, T Webb, M Liddiard, A Mann; D Edwards; Subs not used: J Parker, N Mustoe.

Guiseley: S Drench; A Hardy, A Pearson, D Ellis (M Wilson 88), R Meynell; J Rea, A Holdsworth; J Walshaw (A McWilliams 90), W Brooksby, K Holsgrove (P Marsh 78); J Wilson; Subs not used: M Bower, J Giles.

Referee: R Hulme

Attendance: 220

Star man: Lewis Hogg. At the centre of everything, including the red card incident, but his classy playmaking saw him stand out in an excellent team performance.

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