Replicating the scenes of 363 days ago, Guiseley avoided relegation on the last day of the season, giving them another year in the National League to look forward to. Considering they gave the rest of the league a quarter of a season's head start - taking just three points from the first thirteen games - this has been a great revival.
The Lions started the day one point ahead of York and two ahead of Braintree. A win would assure safety, or matching the results of the two teams below. The visitors, Solihull Moors had assured their own safety already, but they had the better of the play during the first half, scoring directly from a free kick shortly after having had a penalty saved. In truth, Guiseley were not having the best of games. A number of injuries had depleted the squad and I expect anxiety was playing a part.
New came through that Braintree were being beaten, but York were drawing and with just a couple of minutes of the season left Guiseley were in a relegation spot. Then, in the 90th minute, a hopeful ball forward was flicked on and ended up in the net. The match ended 1-1 shortly after, but then we had to wait another five minutes before it was confirmed that York had only managed a draw and were relegated, while Guiseley were safe.
Today's image captures the moments after this news had come through, with the Guiseley players buried beneath an exuberant onslaught of youthful fans. 9yo, 12yo joined in for a gentle amble across the pitch -pretty much the only circumstance under which access to the field of play is tolerated (although as 9yo reminded us, she had been on a pitch after a game before).
Not a great game of football, but another memorable experience, and good to see our local part-timers still managing to just about hold their own in a league stuffed with bigger, full-time professional teams.