Refreshed Lions aiming to build on rare away win

Kevan Hurst
Kevan Hurst
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RECENT events between Guiseley and Wrexham are anything to go by, then tomorrow’s encounter at the Racecourse Ground will not leave supporters short-changed.

RECENT events between Guiseley and Wrexham are anything to go by, then tomorrow’s encounter at the Racecourse Ground will not leave supporters short-changed.

The pair renew acquaintances in North Wales with the Lions seeking a spot of a revenge after losing out 3-2 to the Red Dragons in the reverse fixture in August.

An 83rd-minute strike from Jake Lawlor looked like rescuing a point for the Nethermoor outfit, only for Paul Rutherford to net a stoppage-time winner.

The previous fixture in Guiseley saw the hosts claim a famous 3-1 win in their run to survival at the tail end of last season, with Adam Boyes helping themselves to a brace.

The game in Wrexham last season probably topped the lot in terms of excitement and drama, although it provided a late sting in the tail for Guiseley, unfortunately.

Guiseley were on the cusp of a famous victory after Boyes put them in front in the final ten minutes, only for the hosts to level in the 90th minute in a controversial encounter.

Rested up after having no game last weekend, Adam Lockwood’s side are seeking to build on their milestone away win last time out at Macclesfield, which secured their first win on the road in the National League in almost a year.

It further galvanised the club’s survival fight, with the Lions’ exploits in losing just once in their last eight league games having managed to help drag several other sides in the relegation equation, with a bottleneck developing towards the foot of the table.

Not that Lockwood is getting carried away, with the young manager hoping that their evolution continues and that their encouraging league run serves as a springboard for further consistency.

On his side’s form, Lockwood said: “We all know how difficult it is to put runs of games together. But for me, it’s about us and we concentrate on us.

“We were poor, not in terms of ability when we took over, but with things that were happening and it has taken time to put things right.

“I feel like we are getting there a little bit on a lot of things I am trying to put in place and we are growing into it now.

“But I feel like we have a lot left in us and I think we can keep improving and hopefully we will do and we will work tirelessly to improve and be a lot better. I still feel we can be a lot better than we are.”

Lockwood is expected to give a debut to experienced midfielder Kevan Hurst who has joined the club on loan from Mansfield Town for the rest of the season.

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Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver insists that his side will not give up on their hopes of making the play-offs, despite Saturday’s damaging defeat to Gainsborough.

The men from the CNG Stadium have been in good form since the turn of the year and were unbeaten in four league outings heading into tomorrow’s National League North clash at Boston United.

A third victory in their last four would have left them just four points shy of the top-five, but a 3-1 defeat suffered despite taking the lead through Lloyd Kerry’s first-half strike, keeps them some way off the pace.

“We will fight tooth and nail to get into those play-offs places, and won’t give up until it is mathematically impossible,” Weaver said.

“Saturday’s result just makes things harder for us to get to where we want to be. It leaves us with one game less to play with.

“We need to put a sequence of results together and it’s going to take one heck of a run of form, but if you can win three in a row then you’re somewhere near.

“When we are hot, we arreally hot. You could see that against Alfreton when we could have scored 10. So I know that we are capable of getting the results that we need, it’s just a case of producing them consistently, week after week.”

Elsewhere in National North tomorrow, eighth-placed FC Halifax Town travel to rock-bottom Altrincham, while third-from-bottom Bradford Park Avenue play at Curzon Ashton.

In the Evo-Stik League First Division North, third-placed Farsley Celtic can move to within three points of top dogs Lancaster City with three games in hand if they win at the long-time leaders tomorrow.

Second-placed Ossett Town could also close to within a point of top spot if they can triumph at sixth-placed Clitheroe.

Brighouse Town will be looking to bounce back from their 3-2 defeat at Farsley Celtic when they host Prescot Cables, while mid-table Tadcaster Albion face a trip to Droylsden and Ossett Albion entertain Ramsbottom United.

It’s also an important weekend for Frickley Athletic who host Corby Town in the Premier Division.

Frickley currently sit fifth from bottom and a victory against Corby – who are four points behind them in the table – would be a big confidence boost for Lee Morris’ men.

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Second-placed Pickering Town will be looking to bounce back from their midweek League Cup exit at Bridlington Town when they host Garforth Town tomorrow.

Paul Marshall’s men are currently eight points behind leaders Cleethorpes Town with a game in hand while Garforth will be hoping to chalk up their fifth-straight Premier Division victory.

Elsewhere, sixth-placed Liversedge face a tough trip to third-placed Bridlington Town, who are nine points better off, and 10th-placed Hemsworth Miners Welfare also face a massive challenge when they travel to leaders Cleethorpes Town.

Meanwhile, Harrogate Railway Athletic host the team directly below them in the table, Rainworth Miners Welfare.

Division One leaders AFC Emley got back to winning ways in midweek with their 4-2 win at Selby Town in the League Cup. And after last Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at third-placed Pontefract Collieries, a victory at home to Brigg Town tomorrow will be the top priority.

Pontefract are just six points behind Emley with two games in hand but they have another tough assignment, with an away clash at third-placed Penistone Church.

Elsewhere in Division One, Glasshoughton Welfare host Knaresborough Town, Yorkshire Amateur travel to Winterton Rangers and Nostell Miners Welfare play at Shirebrook Town.