Gabriel Johnson secured a second consecutive home hat trick as Guiseley defeated Workington 4-3 in a frenzied contest, propelling them further towards the play-off ranks, according to David Bridson’s report.
The intense match kicked off with both teams vying for dominance. Johnson’s first goal, a tidy finish into the bottom left corner in the 4th minute, gave the Lions an early lead. Workington immediately pressed for an equaliser, and Steven Rigg found a gap in the Lions’ defence, levelling the game with a goal in the 15th minute.
Five minutes later, Liam Tongue broke through the resilient Workington backline with a well-directed strike, but goalkeeper James Atkinson thwarted the opportunity.
In the 23rd minute, defender Aiden Walker headed home from a Lions corner, once again giving Guiseley the advantage.
Shortly after, Workington captain David Symington was fortunate to avoid at least a caution for a robust challenge on Ollie Brown. The tackle was so fierce that Guiseley’s right-back was promptly substituted by Josh Ashman.
Both teams battled in the midfield, contesting every ball and seizing every chance that came their way.
Symington received a caution in the 36th minute for a tough tackle on Reece Kendall. The yellow card came just before a frantic four-minute stoppage-time period, during which both sides successfully converted penalties.
Courtney Meppen-Walters’ foul on the Workington captain allowed former EFL midfielder Jamie Devitt to equalise from the spot in the third minute of added time. Johnson then gave the home side a 3-2 lead following a high challenge on Kallan Murphy.
Both teams continued their pursuit of victory as the second half began. Ollie Battersby’s superb double save denied a third Workington equaliser, with the goalkeeper bravely thwarting the Cumbrian outfit despite the offside flag being raised.
Johnson almost extended the lead, but his header flew wide as the home side applied pressure.
Symington, a constant threat to the Lions, slotted home from a precise Kofi Moore pass in the 59th minute, leveling the match once more.
Despite Workington having too much room on several occasions, star striker Johnson completed a scintillating hat trick in the 72nd minute, putting The Lions 4-3 ahead.
Johnson picked up the ball near the centre circle, ran the entire length of the half, and calmly finished past Atkinson.
The pacey Jordi Nsaka weaved past several Workington defenders six minutes later, but his shot slid past the post.
As the visitors surged for a leveller, Guiseley sought game management during the nervy remainder of the game.
In the final moments, away goalkeeper Atkinson joined their attack for a corner, but the home defence held firm to avoid a last-gasp equaliser.
The win served as a fitting tribute to life member and stalwart supporter and volunteer Brian Dove, who sadly passed away on the morning of the game aged 83. Brian’s passing was marked with a respectful round of applause ahead of a minute’s silence to honour Armistice Day. Following discussions with Brian’s family, a full tribute will take place at an upcoming home game.
Guiseley remains seventh, level with Macclesfield on 26 points, while Ashton United is one point ahead in the final play-off position.