A DAY out in Torquay may have been a choice excursion for thousands of holidaymakers over many years, but Mark Bower’s sights are set on strictly business tomorrow.
The Guiseley chief takes his Lions side to Plainmoor to face Torquay United in the National League and he is only interested in three points and not thoughts of sun, sea and sand.
Guiseley head south, buoyed by a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Chester, another game in which Bower felt that decisions went against his side – not for the first time this season.
That defeat ended a run of two consecutive home defeats to Gateshead and Aldershot at Nethermoor, with the point in Cheshire something which they have derived confidence from.
A hardy band of supporters will make the long trip to Devon and Bower is keen to reward their faith in a seaside fixture that a number of fans will have circled when the fixtures were unveiled in July.
He said: “I know we’ve got one point from two games this weekend, but the performances against two established Conference full-time sides are ones we can take a lot of heart from, going down there.
“If we play like we have done over the two games, there’s no reason why we finally won’t get that win again.
“They say bad luck in decisions turns, so we’re going to get a lot of good decisions over the next few weeks, it would seem..”
On hoping to reward supporters, he added: “The fans have been brilliant and that’s one of the benefits of stepping up to this level. I hope the fans really enjoy it.”
Guiseley will stay overnight in the south west this evening and while a 616-mile round trip is not something that most part-time players and staff would particularly relish, Bower says preparation won’t be a problem.
Conversely, Bower feels most of his players will be well acclimatised to the situation.
Bower, whose side required a late goal from Adam Boyes to draw 1-1 at Chester on Bank Holiday Monday, added: “Obviously, we will go down there on Friday and as a club, prepare properly.
“It’s something that the majority of the players we have are used to. They have played full-time professional football and it’s part and parcel of that.
“For the majority of players, it’s not unusual and something that we take for granted.
“You prepare and get a good night’s sleep and sleep in the morning or have a walk; whatever you want to do.
“Often, it’s better preparation than at home games where some lads are maybe driving themselves in for an hour or so to get to the ground.
“It’s good; it gets the lads together with a long bus journey and there’s always a bit of fun on the bus.
“Hopefully on the way back, it will be a buoyant one where we have gone there and got a result. “We will obviously be treating it seriously going down there to do a job.
“The best way to enjoy it is to make sure we go down there and get three points. I’m sure everyone would say that.
“That’s the target and we will do our best to get that. We should go there with confidence.”
Simon Cox’s Gulls are seeking to hit back after a winless streak of four matches, which has included successive home defeats to Woking and Cheltenham Town.
SIMON WEAVER is relishing taking on unbeaten Conference North leaders Solihull Moors tomorrow – following his side’s derby victory over Bradford Park Avenue on Monday.
Two stunning goals from Brendon Daniels saw Town come back from a goal down to claim a memorable 2-1 victory over Avenue and set up a mouth-watering first versus second National League North clash at Solihull.
Weaver said: “It’ll be a cracking game against Solihull on Saturday.
“It’s a massive test for us. They have been scoring loads of goals this season – 19 so far, so we’ll have to give them respect and we’ll have to make sure we’re hard to beat. We’ll get our heads together and work hard and see how we get on.”
Danny Ellis and Paul Thirlwell are suffering with calf problems and are likely to miss out while Jack Emmett has an injured back.
Luke Shiels could feature despite a hamstring tweak.
Action in the Evo-Stik Premier tomorrow sees Frickley Athletic visit Colwyn Bay.
In Division One North, Farsley Celtic, buoyed by a 3-0 FA Cup win over Stocksbridge, face a toughie at Bamber Bridge.
Harrogate Railway host Radcliffe and Ossett Town entertain Trafford. Ossett Albion go to Northwich.
Scarborough Athletic visit Prescot and Brighouse welcome Burscough.
THE games may be coming thick and fast for Tadcaster Albion, but boss Billy Miller does not mind one bit.
It’s hardly surprising with the Brewers flying high at the top of the Toolstation NCEL Premier and determined to go one better after missing out on the title last term.
Starting with Saturday’s trip to Clipstone, Albion face four games in just 10 days, including no less than three away fixtures, but Miller insists he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
The ex-Harrogate Rail chief said: “The games are coming thick and fast for us, so it will be tough but, if we keep going as we are, we could be in for a great year.
“We believe we can be in the title race this season. We’ve had a really positive start and we’ve managed to win our last four league games, so all the lads are feeling confident.”
On tomorrow’s clash at Clipstone, Miller, whose side comprehensively beat Bridlington 4-1 in midweek, added: “We love playing at home, but away trips help give us a different kind of test which we can’t wait for.
“Clipstone will give us a real tough task. They’ve struggled for form a little bit recently, but they’re a quality side who will be hoping to be in the title mix at the end of the season.
“But, if we go in with the right attitude, we’re confident we can get a result.”
Hailing the club’s fans, Miller, assisted by ex-Leeds United defender Matt Heath, said: “The fans have been brilliant with us so far this year.
“They’re exceptional for this level of football. To get over 300 for a Tuesday night at this time of year, like we did this week, is amazing to see.
“The club really is a great place to be at the minute.”
In Division One, AFC Emley visit visit Hull United tomorrow, but elsewhere, the FA Vase takes centre stage.
Garforth host Albion Sports, while Pontefract Colls trek to Rossington Main and Yorkshire Amateur visit Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
Nostell hit the road to Congleton Town and Knaresborough Town visit Hebburn Town, while Thackley host Whickham.
Glasshoughton Welfare visit Vauxhall Motors and Selby Town welcome Askern.
Liversedge host Team Northumbria and Hemsworth play host to Cammell Laird.