FC Halifax Town came from a goal behind to take a well-earned point away from second placed Guiseley.
Neil Aspin’s side trailed after former Shayman Mark Bower headed the hosts into the lead nine minutes in, but Dan Gardner’s thunderous strike in the 65th minute gave the Shaymen a point.
But Town will feel like they deserved much more after outplaying the Lions in the final hour of the game, with Chris Worsley, Danny Lowe and Sean Williams all hitting the bar.
The Shaymen made three changes from the side that lost to Bradford Park Avenue two days previous, with Chris Worsley, Jon Worthington and Dan Gardner replacing Liam Needham, Alex Titchiner and Danny Glover.
Guiseley had the lion’s share of the opening stages and with just five minutes on the clock Kevin Holsgrove had the first chance of the game, but the former Shayman could only drag his shot wide of goal after a delightful Meynell pass.
It didn’t take Steve Kittrick’s side long to take the lead however, as just three minutes later a short free kick was eventually whipped in by Andy Holdsworth, and the unmarked Mark Bower headed home to become the second former Shayman to score against his old club in consecutive games.
Town responded well to their early setback and came close to an instant reply when Dan Gardner robbed Aaron Hardy of possession on the edge of the area but his shot was straight at Drench.
Meynell continued to cause Town problems down the left, another teasing cross was met by Hardy but his header was never in danger of beating Matt Glennon.
Yet Town were steadily making strides into the game. Scott McManus’ darting run and cross caused Guiseley difficulties but neither Worsley nor Gregory could make the most of it, before James Knowles met Sean Williams’ corner but he couldn’t hit the target.
However, Town’s inability to deal with crosses into the area continued to be their downfall. Guiseley thought they had doubled their lead after Holsgrove’s secondary cross was poked home by Jack Rea, but he was deemed offside before Ryan Toulson hacked Mark Bower’s header off the line after yet another cross into the area.
Neil Aspin took just 27 minutes to make his first change of the game, replacing James Knowles with Adriano Moke.
Moke’s inclusion saw Town become increasingly dangerous going forward and came within inches of leveling the game. After a stylish passage of play, Lee Gregory headed down for the impressive Chris Worsley, whose delightful left footed volley crashed against the framework.
Andy Pearson and the scheming Kevin Holsgrove both saw shots fly over the bar, but as half time beckoned Town were continuously seeing more of the ball and should have gone into the break level. Gardner freed Gregory but Town’s top scorer couldn’t generate enough power into his shot, before Danny Lowe missed a glorious chance when he managed to rattle the crossbar from five yards out when it seemed easier to score.
Town’s dominance from the last fifteen minutes of the first half continued into the second as they hit the bar for the third time. A long range effort from Williams looped towards goal but Drench managed to tip it onto the bar and clear the danger.
But Town’s dominance was beginning to become too much for the Lions to tame. With the abundance of Town fans in attendance strongly behind their side, an equaliser appeared inevitably.
It took 65 minutes, but that goal did come. A quick free kick from Lowe found Dan Gardner totally unmarked and he smashed home from 12 yards out to give Neil Aspin’s side a deserved equaliser.
The Shaymen continued to press the Lions, harassing the hosts into a string of sloppy passes and further increasing Town’s stranglehold of possession. Chris Worsley and Sean Williams, who were magnificent in the heart of Town’s midfield, continued to wear down their opponents, with the latter setting up Adriano Moke but his shot sailed over from the edge of the area.
Both sides struggled to create any more chances as the game became increasingly compact, with Town’s defensive line pushing much further up the field to leave the adventurous Jack Rea and cunning Andy Holdsworth much less space in the middle of the park.
Town pushed for a winner but couldn’t find a second goal, before a rare venture forward from Guiseley saw them have their second goal of the game disallowed after an alleged foul in the area cancelled out Seb Carole’s late winner.
1. Glennon 2.Toulson 3.McManus 4.Pearson 5.Knowles (Moke, 27) 6.Lowe 7.Worsley 8.Williams 9.Gregory 10. Gardner (Glover, 84) 11. Worthington SUBS: 12. Senior 14. Moke 15. Titchiner 16. Glover 17. Bolton
1.Drench 2.Hardy 3.Meynell 4.Pearson 5.Ellis 6.Bower 7.Rea (Marsh, 77) 8.Holdsworth 9.Wilson 10.Walshaw (Carole, 74) 11. Holsgrove SUBS: 12. Carole 14. Lawlor 15. McWilliams 16. Marsh 18. Giles
M.O.M: Chris Worsley