O’Don­nell im­pressed as Millers claimed derby draw

Guise­ley make FA Cup his­tory as Maxted stars


FOR AN in­cur­able cup ro­man­tic like Paul Cox, last night truly had a bit of ev­ery­thing.

The com­pe­ti­tion’s en­chant­ment was in dan­ger of be­ing tem­po­rar­ily lost upon the Guise­ley man­ager.

His hopes of se­cur­ing a nos­tal­gic trip to for­mer club Mans­field Town seemed to dis­ap­pear into the ether fol­low­ing the hugely con­tro­ver­sial dis­missal of Chris M’Boun­gou for two quick­fire book­ings in the space of six min­utes just be­fore the in­ter­val.

A 47th-minute opener from home cap­tain Sean McConville deep­ened the sense of in­jus­tice.

But in cup foot­ball, it is never over un­til it is over and a cap­ti­vat­ing Roses tie that few sup­port­ers of both clubs will ever for­get still had a chap­ter or two to pen.

Ten-man Guise­ley some­how drew upon their reser­voirs of char­ac­ter to sum­mon up a re­sponse of valour and blood­y­minded de­fi­ance against League Two side Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley on a breath­less evening when ele­ments of the sublime and the ridicu­lous were on show.

More of the bizarre from Sur­rey-based of­fi­cial Charles Break­s­pear saw him take cen­tre stage for a sec­ond time 11 min­utes from time when he pointed to the spot for a per­ceived of­fence com­mit­ted by Jor­dan Thorni­ley in a crowded box – with many in at­ten­dance un­sure quite what hap­pened.

Sub­sti­tute John Rooney was not about to pass up such a gift and steered the ball home past Aaron Chap­man to re­store par­ity – and af­ter mak­ing it to ex­tra time, de­pleted Guise­ley some­how, mag­nif­i­cently, sur­vived for the penalty shoot-out.

The stage was set for a hero and Jonny Maxted came through for Guise­ley, mak­ing saves to deny Billy Kee and Scott Brown to cre­ate his­tory for the Lions who booked a sec­ond-round berth in the cup for the first time.

For Cox, a sen­ti­men­tal re­turn to Field Mill is now a joy­ous re­al­ity.

It was left to Mike Fon­dop to ju­bi­lantly fire home the win­ning penalty for the vis­i­tors, with Rooney, Andy Ha­worth and Con­nor Brown also find­ing the net for Cox’s men.

The tone for an in­tox­i­cat­ing night in keep­ing with the first­class en­ter­tain­ment at Nether­moor was set in the first few min­utes when Aaron Chap­man pro­duced a reprise of his in­spired hero­ics in West York­shire to turn away Jean-Yves Ni­ate’s fierce ef­fort be­fore play switched to the other end, with Mark Hughes clip­ping the bar with a firm header.

How there were no goals at the in­ter­val was an un­fath­omable mys­tery.

The hosts hit the wood­work on three oc­ca­sions and saw a ‘goal’ ruled out for off­side, while Chap­man also pro­duced an­other blind­ing save right out of the top­drawer to turn away Jake Lawlor’s low goal­bound ef­fort

Both sides were painted in a thor­oughly pos­i­tive light, but sadly the main talk­ing point at the in­ter­val was a con­tro­ver­sial one fol­low­ing the dis­missal of M’Boun­gou just be­fore the break, with his sec­ond book­ing look­ing par­tic­u­larly harsh as he ap­peared to slip into Mehki McLeod.

A flood­light fail­ure saw one light go out in the first half, but thank­fully Guise­ley’s hopes just about re­mained in­tact in a half that had ev­ery­thing apart from a goal.

The Lions’ goal led a charmed life with a key touch by Brown di­vert­ing McConville’s goal­bound strike af­ter he rounded Maxted be­fore ex-Guise­ley Ju­niors player Kay­den Jack­son saw his low shot can­non off a post.

A re­mark­able one-handed parry from Maxted then some­how kept out Hughes’s header be­fore the ac­tion con­tin­ued with Kee’s ef­fort ruled out for an in­fringe­ment.

There was still time in a breath­less first-half fi­nale for Kee to head against the bar be­fore M’Boun­gou saw red – with the in­ter­val whis­tle yield­ing a cho­rus of boos from the vis­it­ing sup­port in the di­rec­tion of Break­s­pear.

McConville’s cool header opened the scor­ing from Cal­lum John­son’s cen­tre and looked like be­ing the pre­cur­sor to a rou­tine evening at least. Not a bit of it. Fon­dop some­how man­aged to fire over an open net just af­ter the hour, but Guise­ley found a life­line courtesy of Break­s­pear – and Rooney.

Maxted came into his own in ex­tra-time, mak­ing brilliant saves to deny McConville twice, while an as­sis­tant’s flag ruled out a home ‘goal’ af­ter Dar­ren Holden put through his own net un­der pres­sure.

Some­how, mag­i­cally, Guise­ley made it to the penal­ties, de­spite play­ing 76 min­utes with 10 men. And there was fur­ther drama to come. PICK­ING over the bones of Rother­ham United’s derby draw at Don­caster Rovers, the per­for­mance of un­der-fire goal­keeper Richard O’Don­nell was not lost upon man­ager Paul Warne.

It has been a de­cid­edly mixed sea­son for the for­mer Sh­effield Wed­nes­day and Bris­tol City player, who made a costly mis­take in the Millers’ re­cent FA Cup exit at Crewe Alexan­dra.

It was up in the air as to whether the Millers’ chief would stick with O’Don­nell or use vet­eran Lewis Price for Satur­day’s Keep­moat Sta­dium clash. In the event, a finger in­jury sus­tained by the lat­ter in train­ing last Thurs­day made the de­ci­sion straight­for­ward.

While not hav­ing masses to do against Rovers, O’Don­nell – pow­er­less to pre­vent Richard Wood’s own goal from putting Rovers ahead – han­dled com­pe­tently in a sound show­ing likely to have pro­vided a morale-boost af­ter the pre­vi­ous Satur­day’s events.

Warne, who has loan goal­keeper Marek Ro­dak back from in­ter­na­tional duty this week­end, said: “I thought there was not one thing he did wrong.

“We spoke about the Crewe thing. Every­one is go­ing to make a mis­take; it is hard be­ing a goal­keeper. I could not be a goal­keeper; the mon­key in my brain would be clap­ping sym­bols, you have too much time on your own.

“When you make a mis­take as a goalie, you can­not go and tackle any­one, you just have to wait. I thought he was out­stand­ing (at Don­caster), came for ev­ery­thing I wanted him to and I am pleased for him.”

Winger Jon Tay­lor is a doubt for Satur­day’s home game with League One lead­ers Shrews­bury – man­aged by Warne’s good friend and ex-Millers team-mate Paul Hurst – af­ter com­ing off at the week­end with a knee is­sue.

But on the plus side, left-back Joe Mat­tock and cap­tain Lee Freck­ling­ton are back in the reck­on­ing from sus­pen­sion and in­jury re­spec­tively.

Warne, whose side have not won in the league for their past four matches, said: “Tay­lor’s knee was sore, I think he took a whack on the part he has been strug­gling with. I think he will be a doubt for the week­end.

“I have got Frecks and Joe Mat­tock com­ing back, which is a joy of joys.

“We had to play a lit­tle bit of an im­bal­anced back four, with Michael (Ikiekwe) com­ing in and Josh (Em­manuel) get­ting out wide and it did not work as well as I would have liked, but we had no al­ter­na­tive.”

Guise­ley play­ers cel­e­brate their penalty shoot-out vic­tory over Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley in last night’s FA Cup tie.

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