A fantastic run which had seen Guiseley AFC lose only once in twenty games ended in dramatic fashion right at the death
….in the Skrill North Play-Off Final on Saturday at Moss Lane against Altrincham, who had finished third in the regular season.
Greg Wilkinson, having come on as a late 119th minute substitute for striker Damien Reeves, scored with his first touch to win the tie in the last minute of extra-time.
It looked like heading for a penalty shoot-out before Wilkinson fired a loose ball home after Guiseley `keeper Steve Drench had parried a Kyle Perry effort.
Altrincham had the best of the opening minutes in front of a terrific crowd of 4,632, but Guiseley came more into it as the first half wore on.
Altrincham`s first chance came after 6 minutes when Nicky Clee played Reeves in on goal, but the Robins` top scorer cleared the bar with only Drench to beat.
A couple of minutes later the visitors had their first real opportunity as Adam Boyes` volley was deflected behind for a corner.
At the other end, Jake Moult`s fine effort from 25 yards flew inches wide and then a few minutes later, Andy Holdsworth’s cross caused confusion in Altrincham bos as centre-half Gianluca Havern headed the ball out of his own keeper, Stuart Coburn’s, hands.
On the half-hour mark Oli Johnson eluded Adam Griffin’s tackle and pulled the ball back to Alex Johnson, who lifted his shot over the bar.
The on 38 minutes Coburn was almost embarrassed by Gavin Rothery`s effort from 30 yards and needed two grabs at the ball.
Guiseley finished the half on top and seconds before the whistle Johnson`s close-range shot clipped off Coburn’s leg and somehow squirmed past the post.
Three minutes after the break Guiseley had a great chance to take the lead when a Holdsworth free-kick was flicked on to Danny Ellis, whose volley was beaten out by Coburn.
But on 51minutes it was the home side who broke the deadlock when Clee played the ball into James Walshaw, who pulled it back for James Lawrie to beat Drench from close range.
Guiseley immediately responded and the ball broke to Danny Forrest in the area, but his shot took a deflection and went out for a corner.
On 70 minutes Guiseley were back on level terms when Jake Lawlor headed on and Forrest bundled the ball home in the subsequent melee.
Both chances had one or two opportunities to win it after that, but defences held firm to take the tie into extra-time.
In the first period of extra-time, Guiseley`s Ben Parker surged towards edge of the box and fed Boyes, whose shot on the turn was saved by Coburn low to his left.
But in stoppage time of extra-time, Wilkinson grabbed that all-important killer goal for the Robins to take them back into the Conference Premier.