Harrogate Town’s lack of finishing power was once again cruelly exposed when they went down to a late goal at the CNG Stadium.
After surviving a first minute Andy Holdsworth free kick across the box, which found no takers,Town dominated the first half.
It only six minutes for Town to open the scoring with a goal out of the top drawer.
A long header down the left wing by Luke Dean released Dan Clayton and his pin point centre was headed in by Michael Woods.
The ponderous Guiseley central defence were having great difficulty in containing the Harrogate attack and Clayton went close with a lob over the bar, followed shortly afterwards with a cross shot which just evaded the far post.
Matt Bloomer’s header from Clayton’s corner was inches wide, while Colin Larkin and Woods combined to create a chance for Dean, who could only head at Jacob Giles.
The Town defence could only clear another Holdsworth free kick as far as Gavin Rothery, but his shot was easily blocked and Jack Rea shot wide from 25 yards as Guiseley fought back.
However, Town should have been out of sight by the interval,and the half ended with two more excellent chances squandered.
Woods,showing a remarkable turn of foot,burst through the middle, but instead of pulling the trigger he squared to Dean, giving Giles time to come out and smother the ball.
A powerful run down the left, ended with Woods unleashing a rising drive, which Giles did well to turn over the bar.
A bout of Larkin and Woods interpassing, ended with Woods shooting at Giles, but it was the visitors, through James Walshaw, who levelled matters.
A deep corner was headed back across Town’s goal and Walshaw supplied the finishing touch with a spectacular overhead kick.
Guiseley, prompted by an excellent performance from substitute, Andy McWilliams,began to show their undoubted class.
Craig MacGillivray turned a dangerous Walshaw drive for a corner and Bloomer made a crucial block from another Walshaw effort, while Shane Killock cleared from Matt Wilson.
Not that Town were idle, with Larkin twice playing Woods in, only for Giles again to make two vital saves.
Town were made to pay for their profligacy,when ,with only two minutes left, Walshaw held off Alan White’s challenge and raced through to beat MacGillivray.
Almost immediately,Town were thrown a lifeline,when Referee Andrew Miller,awarded Town a penalty after Woods had been brought down in the crowded area.
Woods,who minutes earlier had been quite rightly named “Man of the Match”for a scintillating display,stepped up to rescue a point for Town and put the icing on his personal cake.
Unfortunately, he made a passable impression of Leeds Rhinos, Kevin Sinfield, by booting the ball way over the bar and into the hospital car park.
It only remained for the Town players to do a lap of honour and for the stadium announcer,Alan Tootill, to wish Guiseley all the best for the play offs on behalf of everyone at Harrogate Town and another home season drew to a close.
On balance, it has been a very promising season, with the club reaching the second round of the F A Cup and the fringes of the play offs.
The atrocious weather and the resulting pitch problems and postponements have made it a difficult season for the ground and office staff, but Jimmy Hague and his helpers have performed miracles to enable the club to stage matches.
A special mention should be made of the office staff, Charlie Lockwood and Gary Plant, who have worked wonders to administer the club over a difficult winter.
Simon Weaver and John McDermott have the nucleus of a top rate team at Wetherby Road and it only needs a cutting edge and a better surface to play on, both of which will , I’m sure,be provided, for Town to make a huge impact in our centenary season.
Harrogate Town 1 Guiseley 2
1 McGillivray, 2 Bloomer, 3 Merris, 4 Bolland (c), 5 White, 6 Killock, 7 Samuels, 8 Dean, 9 Larkin, 10 Woods, 11 Clayton ( Forrest 81).
Unused subs, 12 Allan, 14 Elam, 15 Beesley,16 Chilaka.
Scorer Woods 6mins, Bookings Dean.