Leamington 0 Guiseley 1
A LATE Danny Forrest strike earned Guiseley a maximum on the first day of the Vanarama Conference North season at the New Windmill Ground.
Leamington played their part in a good entertaining game but with both goalkeepers on top form it needed Forrest’s spectacular winner to decide the contest.
Lions boss Mark Bower was happy with the performance, saying: “To come away in the first game of the season, with two home games to follow, and get three points is a great start.
“I was delighted with the win and clean sheet, especially after last week. We also created a few chances. It is always a difficult place to come to because Leamington have a very good home record.
“The game was very even for the first hour and I was happy with that because we had played against a strong wind in the first half. To contain them (Leamington) as we did in that period was very pleasing.
“Danny Forrest, as he is well capable of, came up with something special.”
Guiseley faced a crisis after their final friendly fixture as centre back pairing Danny Lowe and Danny Hall both suffered long-term injuries. Bower had just a week to redefine the tactics and reshape his defence.
He praised Danny Ellis and Ben Parker for their contributions.
“Danny and Ben did really well at the back and once Danny Forrest had scored I can’t remember them having any real chances,” said Bower.
Leamington did carve out the first opening of the game but Stefan Moores’ well struck shot was well saved by Steve Drench. His counterpart in the home goal, Neil Collett, palmed an Oli Johnson effort round his post for a corner soon after.
Late in the first half a long-range shot from Jake Lawlor tested Collett again but the home keeper was equal to it.
Guiseley went for it from the whistle as the second half began but chances were few and far between. A good strike from Adam Boyes went just wide of the target but Forrest later produced the one moment of quality that left Collett wanting.