<b>With the "big freeze" wiping out almost all of December's schedule, the Boxing Day trip to Guiseley was eagerly anticipated by Cooke's lads. Hopes of ending 2022 with three points were dashed however, a professional performance from the Lions saw them run out 3-0 winners.</b>
Colls certainly had the better of the chances in the opening period of the game. The 24 minute mark saw a flurry of action. First up, former Bolton Wanderers forward Jay Fitzmartin could only watch as his effort was cleared off the line. Bailey Thompson's (making his first full start for the Colls following a year on the sidelines with a leg injury) header flew just wide of the mark, just before Gaz Peet's drilled cross across goal was smuggled away by some cool defending.
Missed chances for Atherton, something they reflected upon at half time with Guiseley 1-0 to the good. Five minutes of the half remained as George Smith's cross was seemingly cleared off the line by Ethan Kershaw. The midfielder leapt to head the inswinging corner away. Play continued unabated. For everyone, that is, except the linesman whose flag danced almost too gleefully in the West Yorkshire wind. The ball had crossed the line, even to the surprise of those wearing yellow.
The second half belonged to Guiseley. A mixture of unusually static defending and a ruthless forward line saw the visitors left licking their wounds.
Callum Chippendale bagged both goals for the Lions. His first came on the half volley, Defreitas-Hansen left stranded by what was a very smart finish. A flowing move enabled Chippendale the second as Guiseley transitioned from back to front. The forward rounded off a good afternoon for both him and his club as he rolled the ball into the back of the net. Although well beaten the black n whites stripes didn't throw in the towel as Fitzmartin's howitzer cannoned off the bar before Thompson shot narrowly wide.
Lessons learnt for Cooke's Colls who look to make amends on Bank Holiday Monday (2nd January) as they welcome old friends Lancaster City to the Skuna Stadium. The kick off time for the Lancashire hotpot is 3pm.
<b>Colls:</b> Nico Defreitas-Hansen, Clive Smith, Gaz Peet, Joel Amado, Danny Lafferty, Adam Rooney (66' Arran Pettifer), Ethan Kershaw (66' Luca Defreitas-Hansen), Jack Lenehan, Scott Bakkor, Jay Fitzmartin, Bailey Thompson - Sub (Unused): Marcus Cusani
<b>Man of the Match:</b> Bailey Thomson, sponsored by Colls Supporters Club - Chester Branch