AS FAR as Guiseley’s opponents Sutton United are concerned, the allure of a Tuesday night at Nethermoor is likely to be far removed from their marquee FA Cup assignment against Arsenal in six days time, writes LEON WOBSCHALL.
AS FAR as Guiseley’s opponents Sutton United are concerned, the allure of a Tuesday night at Nethermoor is likely to be far removed from their marquee FA Cup assignment against Arsenal in six days time.
That is the theory at any rate, with the non-league minnows forgiven for looking forward to next week’s glamour last-16 FA Cup encounter with the Gunners at Gander Green Lane in a tie which is likely to capture the imagination of football fans across the land and even further afield too.
Despite the occasion possessing a once-in-a-lifetime-type feel, Guiseley are not reading too much into the talk that Sutton’s guard will be lowered this evening, with it not lost upon them that their London opponents are minded to take care of league business given their league position.
While most Sutton fans may be preoccupied with all things pertaining to Arsenal – just as they were ahead of the previous rounds’ joyous events against Leeds United – the mindset of the club’s players will be different.
That is the view of the Lions’ Will Hatfield and while a midweek trip to West Yorkshire will lack the stardust of events next Monday, the Lions midfielder believes that Sutton players will be mindful of the importance of the game within the National League perspective.
As it stands, third-bottom Guiseley – indebted to a last-gasp leveller from Jake Lawlor in the dramatic 1-1 weekend draw with Eastleigh, which said everything about their resolve and character under Adam Lockwood – can narrow the gap to 16th-placed Sutton to four points with victory tonight, with the South Londoners still being in the relegation picture.
Hatfield said: “Obviously, their main focus will be Arsenal and you cannot blame them for that.
“But they will know that they will have to go over here and I am sure that they will be fired up for that as well as it is an important game in the league.
“We have just got to focus on ourselves and whatever is put out in front of us, we have got to produce and get more goals than them and win the game, basically. It is a massive game for them against Arsenal, but it does not matter to us and our main focus is playing whoever is in front of us and we will look forward to it.”