Vanarama National League: Dover Athletic 2 Guiseley 1

FORMER Huddersfield Town youth keeper Luke Coddington’s Guiseley debut didn’t go as well as he would have planned as he was beaten just five minutes into the Lions’ defeat at Crabble Athletic Ground.

The home side were looking for the win that would keep them in the play-off places, and they climbed one place to sixth after their narrow victory over their second-from-bottom visitors.

Mitch Brundle rifled his early shot from distance past Coddington, the 22-year-old on loan from Northampton Town having little chance of keeping it out.

Despite their lightning start, Dover couldn’t build on their lead as the Lions made life difficult for them.

Midway through the second half, they netted a deserved equaliser when Dayle Southwell drilled a free-kick past the Whites’ keeper Mitch Walker.

But in a match for Mitch’s, the home side’s Mitch Pinnock grabbed all three points with a powerful angled drive just over a minute from time.

The late winner left Guiseley boss Paul Cox lamenting his side’s concentration.

He said: “The performance levels were good and the energy levels were good, as was the way we adapted to the conditions against a side that knows how to play – they have a unique way of playing and they don’t drop many points at home.

“What’s a little bit annoying is game management. We get to the 85th minute, and I’m sick of saying it – we should be able to manage it better, we should be able to see out games.

“It would have been a really good point against a side who are up there fighting for a play-off place. All we can do is dust ourselves down and go again.

"We’ve got some tough games coming but we’ve got a few that we’ve highlighted where we feel we can not just get a point but get maximum points.”

The defeat, however slender and no matter that it was against a side pushing for a place in the Football League, leaves Guiseley nine points below the current safety mark.

Coddington was joined by two other debutants - Harry Flowers, signed from Burnley, and former Republic of Ireland international Sean St Ledger, and Cox is confident that once they settle his team will pick up enough points.

The manager added: “There’s no use feeling sorry for ourselves, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there was an awful lot to do when I arrived at the football club. I didn’t realise just how much and it all had to be done in a short space of time.

“I’ve done it and the football infrastructure is getting better but we need to now be picking up points consistently in the remaining 17 games. Of the games we’ve got, we feel there are a lot where we can get wins, and back-to-back wins would be key.”