Eastleigh were denied victory in a fearsome clash at Nethermoor Park after Jake Lawlor scored with the penultimate kick of the game, securing Guiseley a point writes Charlie Price.
The Spitfire’s took the lead in the first half after James Constable scored his fifth goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough to take all three points back to Hampshire.
Martin Allen made a raft of changes – handing debuts to Chinua Cole, Ben Close and Sam Matthews.
The inexperienced Eastleigh eleven started the game brightly, but it was the home side who had the first chance.
Michael Rankine got on the end of a through-ball that split the Spitfire’s defence but with Graham Stack rushing out of his goal, the large striker was only able to smash the ball miles over the bar.
Martin Allen’s men went straight on the attack and within five minutes had secured themselves their first corner.
The ever looming presence of Reda Johnson, who returned to the side after being sidelined for the past six weeks due to injury, managed to get his head to the ball but was unable to trouble Jonathan Maxted in the Guiseley goal.
After the opening exchanges, the game became a midfield battle with both sides playing at a good tempo.
Close, who is on loan from Portsmouth nearly netted his first goal for the Spitfires on the half hour mark – the ball fell to him on the edge of the box, but his shot was millimetres off target.
With the first half petering out, the fourth official signalled one minute of added time which sparked Eastleigh into life.
A Hakeem Odoffin cross fell to Constable, who rifled the shot into the net from the right side of the box, sending the visitors into the break in the lead.
Both teams started the second half in the same high intensive nature as the first half, helping the 679 spectators forget that the temperature had barely risen above freezing all afternoon.
As the game approached the hour mark Scott Wilson nearly doubled Eastleigh’s lead.
The small centre-forward got to the by-line after a mazy run, he managed to find an angle to get his shot off, but Maxted stood tall and was able to make the save.
As the fourth officials indicated five minutes of added time the home team through corrosion to the wind and with with the allotted time already played, the home side’s efforts were rewarded with a corner.
The ball was delivered into an almighty melee, and at the third time of asking Lawlor was able to bundle the ball past Stack and secure Guiseley the draw.