Non-League: Lions end long-time hunt for midfielder Purver

Alex Purver
Alex Purver
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MARK BOWER has expressed his delight after landing Leeds United academy product Alex Purver on loan until the new year – after revealing he has been interested in the midfielder for several months.

The 20-year-old, who signed a new one-year deal at Leeds earlier this summer, having made 33 appearances for the development squad side last term, will stay at Nethermoor until January 2.

And Bower is keeping his fingers crossed that the Leeds-born player can have a similar loan impact to the one made by young Bury forward Anthony Dudley at the club in 2015-16 – to help provide the catalyst for the Lions.

Bower, who is set to hand Purver a debut in tomorrow’s National League game at Solihull Moors, said: “Alex seems to be very well thought of and he is one who we have had an eye since the end of last season.

“Hopefully, it will suit everyone – us, Leeds United and Alex.

“He has a good attitude and he was keen to come and knows that he needs to play some ‘man’s football’ now and get away from that under-21 thing.

“But at the same time, with us being part-time, it suits both parties really because he can stay with Leeds and have a few sessions a week there and then play the ‘proper football’ with us on a weekend. He comes with no fear and gets on the ball and plays a bit and has got a lot of attributes and can put in a tackle as well and he looks an all-round midfielder.

“We have been short on that and now hopefully we have managed to pin one down.”

The signing of Purver follows some previous loan arrivals from Leeds in the past to Guiseley and Bower hopes that will continue as he seeks to further cultivate links with all of West Yorkshire’s professional clubs.

He added: “It has to suit both sides, but we have taken players from the likes of Leeds and Bradford before.

“Sometimes it works out with young players; sometimes it doesn’t and we are hoping that Alex can follow Alex Dudley’s impact.

“He was top of his class as such in his age group at Bury and was in and around the first-team squad and you need to make that step to men’s football.

“If Alex is as successful as Anthony was last year, then we will be certainly be pleased with that.”

The early league table makes unwelcome reading for Guiseley, who currently prop up the table after four straight losses.

Bower believes performances have been better than those statistics suggest, although he would dearly love the currency of a win bonus tomorrow, however it arrives.

He added: “We have been well in games and I have never seen a game like Tuesday when we were so dominant, but gave two poor goals away to start with and then there was a freak goal at the end which did for us. But we are making some individual errors, which players don’t need to be making and have got to get back to basics and do the simple things right. Do that, and we’ll be all right.”

Meanwhile, a host of Garforth Town legends are turning out to remember the life of Miners fan Ralph Backhouse at the end of this month. Ralph, who was well known in the community, passed away suddenly earlier this year.

Players confirmed to be playing include Brett Renshaw, Darren Kelly, Lee Connor, Jamie Price, Andy Rowan, Duncan Bray and Ben Hunter. More will be revealed very soon.

The match, at the J.S. White & Co. Community Stadium is against local side Bird In Hand Rangers, and will raise money for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal.

Kick-off is at 2pm on Sunday 28th August and admission is £3.

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Unbeaten Harrogate Town travel to Bradford Park Avenue in the first Yorkshire derby of the season, writes TOBY BILTON.

Town are in flying form and, after two wins and two draws, they find themselves second.

After three successive draws, Avenue fell to their first defeat on Tuesday, losing 3-0 at Chorley.

Harrogate have not won at the Horsfall for 11 years, and manager Simon Weaver has demanded a performance from his players.

He said: “We owe it to the fans, and to ourselves, to go to Horsfall and put a performance in.

“Last year, it was arguably our worst performance on the road, and we’re hungry to put that right.

“I know it means a lot to our supporters, but it means just as much to the lads.”

On the back of a comfortable 2-0 win at bottom side Gainsborough Trinity, Weaver has urged his team to pick up where they left off.

He added: “We’re going there on the back of a decent performance against Gainsborough.

“It’s important we carry on that momentum and carry on putting points on the board.”

Elsewhere, league leaders Halifax Town play host to Tamworth.

New signing Tom Denton is the top scorer in the division with six goals to his credit, having found the net in every game.

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Tadcaster albion host bitter-rivals Scarborough Athletic in the FA Cup preliminary round, writes TOBY BILTON.

The Evo-Stik counterparts are not unknown to one another with player movement in the lower leagues something of a common practice.

Ex-Tadcaster favourites Liam Ormsby and Carl Stewart left the Brewers at the end of last season for Scarborough, while captain Jimmy Beadle moved away from the Seadogs at the start of last season.

The tie will earn the winners £1,925 and manager Billy Miller has called on his players to reward the club’s ambitious owners.

He said: “It’s a good opportunity for the players and management to give something back to the football club.

“We are like any other club in that we want to get through as many rounds as possible.

“We have a really good chance to go a few rounds and financially that would be great for the club.”

Elsewhere, in the FA Cup, Ossett Albion travel to Bamber Bridge, while rivals Ossett Town are at home to Goole AFC.

There are away ties for Brighouse and Farsley Celtic, who are at Glossop North End and Congleton Town respectively.

In the pick of the Northern Counties Eastern League teams featuring in the Cup, Harrogate Railway Athletic host Norton and Stockton Ancients.

AFC Emley travel to Maine Road while Hemsworth Miners Welfare make the journey to Mossworth.

Pickering Town are also faced with an away tie at Washington, while Pontefract Colleries welcome Merseyside outfit Bootle to the club’s Harratts Nissan Stadium.

With some teams already out of the cup, there is space for some league action.

And Frickley travel to Stafford in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Meanwhile in the NCEL Premier Division, Garforth Town entertain Clipstone as Liversedge travel to Staveley Miners Welfare.

In the NCEL Division One, there is the local ‘Welfare derby’ between Nostell Miners and Glasshoughton.

And, not to be forgotten, Knaresborough Town entertain Shirebrook Town while Yorkshire Amateur are up against Selby Town.

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