GUISELEY needed a last-gasp equaliser to draw 2-2 at Lancaster City to snatch a replay from their FA Trophy third qualifying round tie.

The Lions were strong favourites and they started well but the Evo-Stik League premier division's Dolly Blues got into the game at the Giant Axe and looked as though they would go through at the expense of their National League North visitors before Will Thornton headed home from a late free kick.

It was the visitors who started the better but after some early pressure they were hit by the sucker punch as the home side broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Guiseley had almost scored in the first few minutes as a Rowan Liburd shot beat Lancaster keeper Jack Sims but was cleared off the line by a covering defender.

But the Dolly Blues forced a corner with a rare attack and a superb delivery picked out Craig Stanley who planted a firm header past Lions keeper Jon Worsnop. The visitors got back into it when Kaine Felix set up Liburd with a neat ball into the area and the striker tucked it away.

It was an end-to-end cup tie though, and Liburd had a later attempt cleared off the line by home skipper Simon Wills, but only after Lancaster had hit Worsnop’s bar following a scramble in the area.

Lancaster almost edged back ahead early in the second half but Tom Kilifin’s well-struck volley from the corner of the six-yard box flew just wide. They did regain the lead with a volley, midway through the second half, when Rob Wilson dipped one over Worsnop from the edge of the area.

Guiseley threw assistant player-manager Paul Clayton on up front as part of a double substitution with Louis Walsh also coming off the bench. There were hearts in mouths for the home side minutes later when a shot in a packed area was deflected just over.

That was a close escape but there were broken hearts as Thornton headed in the last-minute equaliser. Lions joint manager Russ O’Neil said: “If I’m totally honest I think we’re lucky to be able to fight another day.

“We created chances at times but as the game went on they (Lancaster) were more aggressive than us on the day and they made us defend a lot more with their pure physicality.

“They put balls into our box and right under our crossbar. We’re still in it and we have the opportunity to put it right on Tuesday. There were good points and I thought Rowan was outstanding, a proper number nine for us, especially in the first half.

“The early chance – should he have taken it round the keeper? It was well defended though, well cleared off the line. I think overall we’ve got away with one and we will need to put it right.”

Lancaster City will travel to Nethermoor on Tuesday, November 27, so tomorrow’s (Monday’s) West Riding County Cup tie at Harrogate Town has been postponed.