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Telford 4 Guiseley 1 - Report and pictures

It’s been a long wait for a second hat-trick in Bucks colours for striker Aaron Williams, some 2,380 days, to be precise; however, the Bucks marquee signing of the summer will care less about that and more about the fact that he broke a goal drought that went back to the 3rd September to propel the Bucks to three well-deserved points.

Williams spent time on loan to the Bucks from Walsall early in his career, and notched a treble in a 3-1 win at Ebbsfleet United in April 2013. Fast forward five and a half years; Williams has established himself at National League level and higher, with prolific spells at both Nuneaton Town and Brackley Town, making his summer capture by manager Gavin Cowan a notable coup; however, with just three goals before Saturday, Williams hasn’t as yet hit the heights that might have been expected, least of all by himself.

That appears to have changed with the arrival of Matty Stenson on loan from Solihull Moors. Stenson has given Williams a strike partner with whom he looks to be building a good understanding, and the two proved too much for Guiseley to cope with, Stenson also bagging his first goal for the club.

It was a fine all-round display from the Bucks, and a tough afternoon for Guiseley, who started the more brightly but ultimately were overpowered. The Lions had more then their share of the opening fifteen minutes of action, with the lively Kaine Felix on the right wing looking to test the home side. Without the services of the National League North’s top scorer, Aaron Martin, serving the last game of a three-match suspension for a straight red card, the Lions lacked a focal point, and when the Bucks upped their level, the away side had few answers.

The Bucks started to fire around the 20 minutes mark; Adam Walker set up Stenson, but as he shaped to volley a clearance ricocheted off the back of Darryl Knights and was pushed around the post by Marcus Dewhurst for a corner. Moments later, Dewhurst saved from Williams, blocking his shot with his legs from close range as the pressure grew, but they didn’t hold out for much longer, and when Theo Streete made a fine run and cross Williams took a touch before smashing the ball past the keeper at the far post.

That purple patch was enough to put the Bucks ahead at the interval, and it didn’t take long for the home side to extend their lead on 49 minutes. Brendon Daniels had a shot saved by Dewhurst, with Stenson then trying to work his own shooting chance before being crowded out; the ball bounced up for Darryl Knights to shoot and his effort struck an arm in the penalty area, resulting in a penalty. Williams took the responsibility and blasted home the spot-kick, high into the top corner.

The Bucks looked to be in charge, but when a Lions free-kick reached the far post on 63 minutes, Hamza Bencherif headed home into an unguarded net, keeper Matt Yates left a little stranded when he came for a ball he couldn’t collect.

That could have been ‘game on’ but barely a minute later the Bucks restored their two-goal advantage. A Guiseley ball forward rebounded to Stenson and he collected the ball before setting off on a mazy run towards goal that ended with a curling low shot past a screened Dewhurst’s left hand into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

Not content with that, the Bucks added a fourth on 70 minutes, one that saw Williams cradling the match ball as he left the ground an hour or so later. A Brendon Daniels free-kick 30 yards from goal caught the Lions dozing and Williams ran onto the ball on the right of the box before driving his shot through Dewhurst and in to complete the rout.

The Bucks could have added more, but were largely content to keep Guiseley at arms’ length, with Cowan happy that the standards to which he aspires had been delivered for a second consecutive game, changing the mood around the club.

AFC Telford United: Yates, Lilly, Daniels, Deeney (c) (Royle 86), Sass-Davies, Streete, Birch, Walker Stenson (Dinanga 76), Williams (Barnes-Homer 80), Knights.

Unused Substitutes: White, Martinez.

Goal: Williams (21, 49 pen, 70), Stenson (65).

Cautions: Barnes-Homer.

Guiseley: Dewhurst, McNally (Smith 37), Nicholson, Cantrill, Bencherif, Garner (c), Felix, Barkers, Johnson, Jones, Soleman.

Unused Substitutes: Newall, Clayton, Thornton.

Scorers: Bencherif (64).

Cautions: Bencherif, Smith.

Referee: Scott Simpson.

Assistants: Thomas Swift, Adam Davies.

Attendance: 1007.

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