Vanarama National League North: Boston United 1 Guiseley 0

GUISELEY’S first season back in Vanarama National League North began with a defeat as they lost a tight game at Boston United’s Jakemans Stadium.

Pilgrims’ substitute Andre Johnson’s 76th-minute goal, clinically taken after Adam Marriott’s superb through ball, settled the game as Boston, who have added ten players in close season – one of which was former Lincoln City man Marriott – laid down a marker.

The Lions, under new joint managers Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill, competed well but will be left in no doubt about how difficult the 2018-19 season will be following their relegation from the top table of the non-league game in England.

Many have installed Guiseley as firm favourites to make an instant return to the National League.

They had three seasons in the top tier but have had to trim their playing budget following relegation.

They found themselves under early pressure at Boston as the hosts forced Lions’ keeper Joe Green into a good save and had a penalty shout, but the visitors defended well and began to get into the game.

Will Hatfield snatched at a half chance as he drilled the Lions’ first effort wide of the target, and when Rowan Liburd forced a corner on the half-hour the hosts were stretched at the back.

Green made another smart save to deny Marriott before Hatfield sent a free-kick just wide of the angle late in the first half.

Guiseley were under pressure soon after the break but they went close to breaking the deadlock just after the hour when an angled drive from Liburd was deflected wide.

When the home side eventually edged ahead, it gave them a deserved lead but the Lions could have levelled soon after.

Just over a minute after Johnson’s neat finish put the Pilgrims in front, Liburd sent in a back header that clipped Boston keeper George Willis’ bar on its way over.

Guiseley piled the pressure on in the five minutes of added time but Bignot and O’Neill will have to wait until Tuesday's trip to Chorley to try and claim their first points of their tenure.

* It was a memorable day for Steeton as they banked three points from their first game on the non-league ladder.

The Chevrons twice took the lead at Holker Old Boys in Hallmark Security League Division One to announce their arrival in grand style.

It was an entertaining game and Steeton had to ride their luck at times but got the job done.

Steeton were celebrating their first goal at this level on the half-hour thanks to Angus Maney, who climbed highest to meet a ball into the area and headed over home keeper Ross Liddicott.

Holker equalised five minutes later with a stunning strike.

Nathan Reid lashed in a shot from distance that gave the Chevrons’ keeper Alfie Stevens-Neale – on a season-long loan from Bradford (Park Avenue) – no chance.

The sides went into the break on level terms but the visitors netted the all-mportant winner in the 68th minute, Andy Briggs’s back-post header confirming Steeton’s first victory on the football pyramid.

Silsden snatched a draw from their first game back in the Premier Division following their Division One title success last term.

The Cobbydalers had home advantage on the opening day but needed a late leveller from player-manager Danny Forrest to secure a point from a 1-1 draw.

Visitors Squires Gate broke the deadlock midway through the first half when a defensive mix-up saw Richard Seers, with only home keeper Callum Jakovlevs to beat, and he stuck the chance away.

Forrest came on for Arley Barnes ten minutes from time and the former Bradford City striker fired home from inside the area following an 85th-minute corner.

* With the Evo-Stik League not starting until a week on Saturday, it was friendly action only for Farsley Celtic and Brighouse Town at the weekend.

Adam Lakeland’s Celts made the most of it as they registered a confidence-boosting 5-0 victory at Colne.

Following a goalless first half, Farsley had five different scorers.

Adam Clayton had gone close early on with a header, and Nathan Cartman and Ryan Watson had sent efforts just over the bar before the home side had the ball in the net only to see it ruled out.

Nathan Turner started the rout with the opening goal three minutes into the second half.

Soon after the hour, Paul Walker doubled Farsley’s lead before Cartman and Will Hayhurst both added.

The fifth was netted by substitute Matuise Britton with a little over five minutes remaining.

While Evo-Stik Premier Division high-rollers Farsley had faced a Colne side who will play their football in the coming season in Division One West, Division One East outfit Brighouse Town hosted one of the Celts’ top-tier rivals.

Lincolnshire club Basford United made the journey to the Yorkshire Payments Stadium and earned a narrow win via a 16th-minute goal by Kole Lambert.

Basford keeper Kieran Preston had to be on top form to ensure that he ended with a clean sheet though as Town created chances.