Score: Guiseley Whites ? – Burley ?
Venue – Elland Road
Attendance – 34,788
This weeks game was played at the greatest stadium in the world and in stark contrast to last weeks game at The Meadows this Sundays game was played on a pitch with grass that was so short it looked like it had been cut by Billy’s hairdresser. With the shackles of the long grass gone, the Guiseley boys quickly set about the Burley players with some tremendous tackling, quick closing down and pressure on the ball that was reminisent of the great Leeds team of the 70’s.
Harry M in particular seemed to enjoy the short grass. Time after time he ghosted past Burley players with his electric pace as though they weren’t even there. At one point he made a run down the left that Eddie Gray would have been proud of. He beat 46 players as he drifted in field from the left and passed a lovely ball innside to Sam B who was there to provide the finishing touch in what has been voted in this months 4-4-2 football magazine as the greatest goal ever scored in an under 8’s match. Although I would dispute that as I scored a cracker for Otley Express Under 8’s against Panal Ash away in 1981.
Back to the match and after running around in the long grass last week it was great to actually see Callum this week. Thanks to the incredibly short grass we witnesssed Callum playing like Jonny Giles in the middle of the park, producing some wonderful passes and tackling anything that moved. When Callum hear’s his manager shout “get the ball back Callum” he becomes like a boy possessed and will not relent until he gets the ball back from the opposition. He nearly got himself on the score sheet with a volley that just whistled over the crossbar. Jonny Giles only wishes he had hit a volley as sweet in his whole career. Go Callum!
Guiseley were pleased to see the return of “Bite Your Legs” Dan back from international duty and take his place in the heart of the Guiseley defence. He had had a 72 hour round trip and tough fixture away to the Azerbaijan last weekend but showed no signs of fatigue as he marshalled the defence excellently, took up some very intelligent positions and brought the ball out of defence in a calm and unflustered manner just the way the great Norman Hunter used to.
Sam B was taking up some lovely positions on the right handside and causing Burley alsorts of problems with his wizardry on the ball and a shot that is harder than Peter Lorimers (Fact). He set up the first goal with a beautiful pull back, showing great awarenesss and vision as he picked out Ollie in the box who dispatched a side footed shot into the bottom corner. A very well worked goal! Ollie worked tirelessly up and down for the team and put in some Billy Bremneresque tackles to keep Guiseley on the front foot.
New signing Henry P took off from where he left of the previous week with some tough tackling and intimidation of the opposition that not even Jack Charlton could have matched. Henry was nominated as this weeks captain and on being given the captains armband you could physically see Henry’s chest push out, his shoulders go back and a sense of responsibility come over him that he took into the game. He was determined not to let his new team mates down and he certainly did’t. He was a towering presence at the back for Guiseley and I imagine some of the Burley boys had some aches and pains when they got out of bed this morning after being on the back of some big tackles from Guiseleys Captain Marvel. Henry and Dan are forming a good understanding at the back and things bode well for the future there. Although they are a bit like an old married couple with Dan telling Henry what to do and where to stand and Henry doing exactly as he was told while murmering under his breath that he ddoesn’t want to do it.
Sam M produced some of his trade mark passes and started up a number of attacks for Guiseley in a similar mould to Paul Reaney used to do for the great Leeds team. His twinkle toes were evident on a number of occasions and he was involved in a couple of Guiseleys goals.
Jacob didn’t have as much to do in the Guiseley goal this week as he had done in the previous two weeks but you wouldn’t have known it at the half time team talk as he gave a very detailed and accurate report of the two saves he had made. As usual he didn’t let anyone down and anytime he was asked to make a save he did and his throwing out to his teammates is improving all the time. Jacob would have had an argument for getting in ahead of David Harvey or Gary Sprake in that Leeds team of the 70’s!
All in all a very good performance from the boys and they should be proud of the way they played. They passed it well and got plenty of shots in going forward. They defended well as a team, put plenty of pressure on the ball and in Jacob had an assured keeper who wasn’t going to be beaten easily.