On a beautiful summer’s night in the leafy suburbs of Leeds, Guiseley Red Lion opened their pre-season fixtures with a polished and comfortable victory against Bramhope. Five goals, five separate scorers, a clean sheet and some good football meant that the Gaffer’s nicotine intake tasted that much sweeter.
Although there were a lot of new faces in the squad the starting XI featured the bulk of last season’s team. The exceptions were Adam in goal who only had one real save of note to make which he did well. Ste Mid at centre half gave a very composed performance and Lee Parr was terrific for as well as setting up the first goal he managed to commentate on the match while he played too. I’ve never seen Tony Gubba do that before though I’ve never heard Tony Gubba see another Theo Walcott cross go into the stands and say, “We’ve got a wheelie bin that can do that”.
The pre-match warm up will give Dicky Machell pause for thought. There was piggy backs, wheel barrows, game of rugby, egg and spoon race, aerobics everything. It made last season’s warm up look sooooooooooooo last year.
The game started with Smex electing to play uphill and into the wind. He’s not 72 years of age for nothing though as come the second half the blinding sun made things very difficult for the Bramhope defenders so the skipper’s decision was a good one.
The game started scrappily with neither team getting a foothold in the match. The first chance of the game came JT’s way when a defensive mistake let him in but the keeper saved well. The Bramhope off-side trap was looking as ropey as Pat Butcher and it was no surprise when we opened the scoring. Typical battling by Lee Parr won the ball and the corresponding through ball found Tatts who sauntered in and megged the keeper. Buttons nearly made it two with a cross shot which thumped the near post and Tatts went close again. The back 4 looked very solid against a pacy forward and the midfield worked well with some neat football being played. It was only a matter of time when we scored again and it duly arrived when PC Machell crossed from the right. An unmarked Tatts just had to control and knock it home but instead it ricocheted off his mud free knee and fell to the marauding Kris Sutton who couldn’t miss.
On the stroke of half time some more good interplay saw JT slip in Buttons who finished well to make it three nil at the break.
The Gaffer made some changes at half time with the notable one being Mark Levine who made his first competitive game since he broke his ankle wrestling a crocodile. The second half continued where we left off. Buttons had already gone close when Tatts shinpad made contact with an opponents boot and the referee who looked like someone who refuses to believe Britpop is dead gave a spot kick. PC Machell slammed it down the middle(ish). Another raft of substitutions saw more players come and go. Your correspondent was in the shower when the fifth goal went in. Andy Davey got it apparently but I couldn’t tell you what happened. I however, put some Radox in my right hand, rubbed it on my chest and head, stood under the pounding water and cleaned myself with the ensuing suds. Before I start going all Queer as Folk I’ll get back to the match.
There were no more goals so the only remarkable thing to note was Graham’s Rory Delap like throw ins which caught everyone by surprise. The Jimmy Laughey Swearometer Award goes to Si Hollings who effed and jeffed his way through the second half. God knows what he’s going to be like when it gets serious. Andy Davey was sporting ridiculous amounts of tape on his socks so much so that it was mooted whether it was this tape that was keeping him standing up as only a week ago he had a career threatening injury.
The game rather drifted to it’s conclusion. We missed some more chances with Ste Mid and Matty Larkins going closest and the majority of the 21,109 crowd had left the ground to get back for Big Brother by the time the referee blew his whistle rather forlornly.
It was a good performance and shows Guiseley have good strength in depth this season. There is competition for every position and this seemed to raise the standard of play from everyone. Bramhope were swept aside and Guiseley need to keep this form up into the season proper.
Lost Property – a pair of wellies has been handed in to the Lost Property office. They were supposedly taken off by a member of the team during the first half of last night’s game at Lee Parr’s request. There is no name in them but some faded initials on the sole. Second letter is definitely S. First one might be K. Maybe. It’s quite faded.
Wheelie Bin – a joke’s a joke but who has moved the wheelie bin? Can it be returned please? Someone reckoned it was at last night’s game doing some stretches as Tatts’ sailed another ambitious shot into touch. Whoever has moved it, can they put it back. Where else are we going to put all of that tape Andy Davey uses?