Guiseley’s aspirations for a coveted play-off spot were dealt a blow with a narrow 1-2 defeat against Macclesfield, as a late winner saw the Lions lose ground in the race.

The visitors seized an early advantage in the 17th minute when Alex Curran capitalised on a defensive lapse from Aiden Walker, neatly slotting the ball home. Despite a quick response from debutant Luke Mariette, whose superb long-range strike found the top left corner in the 47th minute, Guiseley succumbed to a late Macclesfield surge.

The turning point came in the 82nd minute when a swift Macclesfield counter-attack saw Kane Drummond’s pacey finish beat Ollie Battersby, securing three crucial points for the away side. This victory propelled the Cheshire side past Guiseley in the standings, leaving the Lions trailing in the race for play-off contention.

Guiseley fought relentlessly for an equalizer in a rollercoaster of a match. Michael Afuye’s attempt in the 19th minute was thwarted by the disciplined visiting defense, and Jameel Ible’s point-blank header in the following minute went over the bar. As the Lions pressed on, Ible’s effort was cleared off the line in the 32nd minute.

Macclesfield’s Curran posed a constant threat, nearly doubling the lead in the 36th minute, forcing Battersby into a fine save with a fierce attempt. Guiseley’s best chance to level came just before the interval, as Mariette’s attempt struck a defender, hit the bar, and went out for a corner.

The second half saw both teams intensify their efforts for a decisive victory. Macclesfield bombarded the box with shots, with a standout defensive clearance from Ollie Brown in the 57th minute. Goalkeeper Dylan Berry clung on to the ball amidst a goalmouth scramble, maintaining Macclesfield’s slender lead.

Tensions flared in the 66th minute when referee Jordan Crossley had to intervene following a booking for Macclesfield midfielder Paul Dawson, resulting in a brief brawl. Guiseley’s Liam Tongue, introduced in the 79th minute, unleashed fiery shots that were repeatedly denied by determined defensive blocks.

Despite Guiseley’s commendable efforts, they were unable to salvage a point or secure a late winner, and Macclesfield held on for a crucial away victory. The Lions will now look to bounce back as they face league leaders Radcliffe on Saturday, 3rd February, before returning to Nethermoor for a West Riding County Cup clash with Ossett United three days later.

Final Score: Guiseley 1-2 Macclesfield