Gloucester City denied win as title-chasing Guiseley hit back to earn draw
GLOUCESTER CITY 2
JUNGLE law may dictate that Lions tame Tigers, but this battle of the Blue Square Bet North big cats at Whaddon Road ended in a thrilling stalemate.
The Lions from Guiseley took the lead courtesy of a stunning Josh Wilson free-kick from fully 30 yards on 17 minutes but grizzled old Tiger Tom Webb levelled for Gloucester with an unerring strike.
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And after Wayne Brooksby was shown a straight red card for an off the ball shove on Lewis Hogg, the in-form Tigers dominated proceedings, deserving more than the result they got.
Darren Edwards fired City in front from the penalty spot but Guiseley substitute Matt Wilson bundled home in injury time to earn his side a point.
Making four changes from a side that had claimed a 1-0 home win on Saturday, City would perhaps not be expected to start as brightly as they did against a side with the title firmly in their sights.
Darren Edwards shot weakly at Steve Drench after a neat move down the right and Steve Davies did similar 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.
The Tigers roared back though, Matt Coupe headed weakly at goal from a sublime Danny Andrew crossed free-kick and Edwards failed to organise his feet when presented with a chance in the six yard box.
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 spikey and it culminated with 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 half 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 Darren Edwards missed his cross, Steve Davies didn't but after taking a heavy touch the Welshman could only strike the outside of the post.
A neat move involving the assured Hogg, Andrew and Mann set Edwards free to shoot but City's top scorer blazed over the top after jinking on to his left foot.
Mann was then inches from giving City the lead but after being put through by Steve Daives and shooting past Drench, Aaron Hardy cleared off the line as the ball rolled towards the empty net.
James Walshaw almost made Mann pay when getting his header to a free kick shortly after the hour, but Green threw himself to his left to palm the ball around the post.
But with the Lions pressing for a goal that they desperately needed in their promotion push, City became an increasingly live threat on the break.
And from one such two-on-one attack substitute Will Morford fed Edwards, who was felled by Drench as he went for the ball. A penalty was given and Edwards hammered home from 12 yards.
Former Forest Green Rover Phil Marsh and Will Morford traded chances in a fraught final five minutes as goalkeepers at either end held firm.
But from a 90th minute melee in the box substitute Wilson poked the ball into the net to earn the title chasers a point that was celebrated like a win.
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
Star man: Lewis Hogg – at the centre of everything, including the red card incident but his classy playmaking looked to have played a part in a fine CIty performance.