Stockport County 3, Guiseley 3
Guiseley suffered injury-time heartache in their bid for back-to-back victories over Stockport County when the home side snatched a draw from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game.
Having beaten the Hatters 2-0 at Nethermoor in midweek, the Lions were on course for a Skrill Conference North league double when they went 3-1 up midway through the second half.
But skipper Phil Jevons was County’s hat-trick hero as the veteran netted two quality finishes and kept calm deep into stoppage time.
Lions boss Mark Bower brought Adam Boyes into the starting line-up as one of two changes to the side that won on Tuesday.
It was Boyes who had Guiseley’s first chance but he shot over following Danny Ellis’s early free-kick.
The Hatters’ Kristian Dennis had chances either side of Boyes’ effort in an even opening spell.
The deadlock was not broken until the 38th minute when Wayne Brooksby’s low shot across the keeper found the far corner but Guiseley’s lead was short-lived as Jevons controlled and shot past Steve Drench three minutes later.
Drench denied Jevons on the hour mark, and the Lions launched a counter-attack that ended with Boyes chipping the home keeper from just outside the area to put the visitors back in front.
County’s keeper was tested by Brooksby and Gavin Rothery, the save from the latter leading to a corner that Ellis converted with a good header. However, Jevons hit a clinical half-volley to set up a tense last quarter of an hour.
The late drama unfolded when County were awarded a free-kick in the last of the four minutes of stoppage time.
Jamie Milligan’s delivery struck the wall and the referee pointed to the spot, indicating handball, and after the protests had settled down Jevons beat Drench from 12 yards.
Bower said: “It was a very deflated dressing room. It’s hard to take, a last-minute penalty, and I’ve never seen one like that when the referee blows the final whistle as the ball hits the net.
“I thought we were in control for long periods. We invited them on when we were 3-1 up but at that stage I still couldn’t see them coming back into it. It’s disappointing from our point of view to concede a free-kick and a penalty like that.
“It was a soft free-kick and an even softer penalty. The referee said Danny Boshell handled it with both hands, which is difficult to say its deliberate when he’s in the wall. But we shouldn’t have given him the chance to give either that or the free-kick.”