Guiseley 1 Altrincham 0

GUISELEY are off the mark after winning a thrilling National League clash at Nethermoor on Tuesday night.

A 16th goal from new defender Rob Atkinson earned the Lions their first points in the top tier of non-league football.

Atkinson arrived in the box for a corner and thumped his header into the top left corner to delight the home crowd

It also gave them a measure of revenge for the agonising 2-1 defeat Altrincham inflicted on them in the 2014 Conference North play-offs.

With another home game coming up against Kidderminster on Saturday, Guiseley will be hoping to build on this hard-earned win.

Both sides had a good number of scoring chances but Atkinson’s goal was surprisingly the only one of the game.

Despite a number of uncomfortable moments, Guiseley emerged with a clean sheet and that will be as pleasing to boss Bower as the win itself.

The Guiseley fans gave their team good backing throughout and played their part in a win which will be important for morale.

The Lions had five new signings in their side and they all played their part in what could prove an important win.

Former Leeds United midfielder Zac Thompson caught the eye with a number of mazy runs and looked a potential crowd pleaser.

New striker Tom Craddock was another player who was keen to catch the eye. He went close on a couple of occasions and looks to be developing an understanding with his strike partner Adam Boyes.

Last season’s top scorer had two golden chances to make the game safe in the second half. His point-blank shot was brilliantly pushed out by Stuart Coburn and his effort from the rebound bounced off the ground and flew over the bar.

Altrincham played their part in an entertaining encounter and they also had some clear chances. Former Farsley striker Damien Reeves missed from point-blank range and Michael Rankine headed against the bar minutes after Atkinson had given Guiseley the lead.

Whereas Guiseley had dominated the first half with their attractive style of play, Altrincham had the better of the second period.

Their manager Lee Sinnott switched to three at the back and threw men forward which meant that Guiseley had to rely on breakaways to relieve the pressure.

The new central defensive pairing of Atkinson and skipper Adam Lockwood was put to the test and they came through with flying colours.

They ensured that Guiseley preserved their hard-earned lead. It wasn’t always pretty but it was always pretty effective.

Wayne Brooksby led a couple of promising breaks from defence but a lack of accuracy with the final ball meant that Guiseley were unable to kill their opponents off.

In the end they needed to rely on their reserves of grit and determination to register the win their first-half performance merited.

Guiseley know that stiff tests lay ahead but a win, a clean sheet, and a never-say-die spirit will be good for morale.

Guiseley: Drench, Lowe, Lockwood (C), Lawlor, Brooksby, Boyes, Craddock, Hatfield, Boshell, Thompson, Atkinson. Subs: D Atkinson, Toulson, Rothery, Hall, Dickinson.

Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore (C), Griffin, Moult, Havern, Lawrie, Rankine, Reeves, O'Keefe, Marshall, Sinnott. Subs: Leather, Griffith, Deasy, Bowerman, Crowther.