Mark Bower’s sacking by Guiseley down to long-running slide, says chairman Phil Rogerson

Adam Lockwood
Adam Lockwood
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PHIL ROGERSON has revealed that the decision to sack Mark Bower was not solely down to Guiseley’s winless start to 2016-17 – with the club’s torrid descent in the second half of last season also being a big factor.

Bower’s near three-year reign at Nethermoor was ended on Sunday, with the Lions dispensing with the services of the 36-year-old in the wake of their fifth successive National League defeat, a 3-2 reverse at Solihull Moors.

The setback leaves the Lions propping up the table, with Adam Lockwood in interim charge following the decision to axe Bower.

The former Doncaster Rovers and Oldham Athletic defender, 34, will be assisted by Martin Stringfellow and Steve Dickinson – and is likely to take charge of Saturday’s home game with Bromley.

Lions chairman Rogerson admits to being genuinely sad at the club having to call time on Bower’s regime.

But he feels that their hand was forced by results since last Christmas, with the Lions losing 15 of their last 26 matches, winning just four.

Offering his take on the reign of Bower, Rogerson said: “The first two years were great, although we had the heart-breaker at Altrincham (Conference North final loss in 2013-14).

“But we pulled it off at Chorley followed up by a bit of an uphill struggle (in 2015-16).

“That said, at the back of last season, we went from a position of being fairly comfortable to one where we had to hope that we won the last game and hoped that someone else wouldn’t.

“It seems to be a slide and I can’t really put the finger on what the problem was. When you don’t win, it is certainly not good – although having said that, we did beat Torquay to stay up. But we did tail off in the second half of last season.

“Particularly when you are part-time, the likelihood is that you are going to be in the bottom half of that table and sweating on the bottom line.

“But we just felt that we weren’t performing as well as we thought.

“We have had some tough early days and when you are playing full-time sides, it is tough. But in the last two games, we were against newly promoted sides and we felt that we should have made more of that.

“After being 2-1 up and throwing it away in a five-minute spell (at Solihull on Saturday), something must have been wrong somewhere.

“Hopefully, we will now be able to fix it.”

Rogerson says the club are in no rush to bring in a permanent replacement for Bower, with the Lions happy for Lockwood to hold the fort and showcase his credentials for the full-time post – if he so desires it.

He added: “We will probably see in a week or so what applications that we have had and see what Locky does and see where we go from there.”

Action tonight sees rock-bottom Frickley endeavour to secure their first three points of the Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign at the fourth time of asking when they entertain another side without a win so far in 2016-17 in Stourbridge.

Elsewhere this evening, Liversedge will be seeking to continue their renaissance when they visit Handsworth Parramore.

The Clayborners are sitting pretty in third spot in the Northern Counties East League Premier, having netted seven goals en route to back-to-back victories.

Another side who have made an encouraging start are fourth-placed Thackley, who welcome Maltby, with the Dennyfielders winning 5-0 at the weekend.

Garforth host Barton Town, while Albion Sports visit Rainworth.

In Division One, Pontefract Colls are at home to Westella and Wiilerby.

Goole head to 1874 Northwich in an FA Cup preliminary round tie.

Jake Lawlor scores  for  Guiseley from close range.

Guiseley leave it late to claim their first victory of the season