Vanarama National League: Maidenhead United 3 Guiseley 0

AFTER four consecutive Vanarama National League draws under his reign, new Guiseley boss Paul Cox asked for more from his players but  got less as the Lions slumped to a heavy defeat at York Road.

Maidenhead United, managed by former West Ham United legend Alan Devonshire, raced into a two-goal lead as they hammered their visitors.

The Lions remain in the relegation places, three points below the safety mark, while the Magpies are now just one point outside the play-off places.

Guiseley keeper Joe Green didn’t cover himself in glory as the home side broke the deadlock in the third minute.

A long throw from Sam Barratt was flicked on by Jake Goodman and, as Green flapped at it, Ryan Upward nodded the ball over the line.

Two minutes later, Harry Pritchard buried a shot into the top corner of Green’s net to cap a fine move by the Magpies.

The quick one, two was definitely a hammer blow for the Lions, but Cox’s men rallied, and dominated long spells of the first half as Reece Thompson and John Rooney both went close.

However, Maidenhead could have extended their lead as a Goodman header from a Barratt corner was headed off the line by a desperate Guiseley defence.

That rekindled the Magpies’ hunger and, ten minutes before half-time, James Comely shrugged off Lions centre back Rob Atkinson and scored his first goal for Maidenhead with a superb chip over the stranded Green.

The Lions were fortunate to reach the break just three goals down as an Adrian Clifton header hit Green’s post just before half-time.

New signing Simon Lenigan came on for his debut in difficult circumstances - on for injured skipper Danny Lowe and with a 3-0 deficit.

A disappointed Cox said: “It was an eye opener and it shows just how big a job we’ve got on our hands.

“I’ve learned loads and I’ll put that alongside the other things I’ve picked up since coming in here. Now it’s about my players and about how to take the club forward.

“I believe it’s time to take the bull by the horns and really make decisions that, in the short term, might mean we get a bloody nose but in the long term it will take the club forward.

“It’s such an emotional game – you can lose your business mind and sweep things under the carpet. This is five games in and I knew it was a tough job when I came in, but I’m very clear now in terms of progression.

“Day’s like today can’t happen.”