MARK BOWER admits he and his Guiseley players weren’t surprised in the slightest when they were handed an FA Trophy second-round date with near neighbours Bradford Park Avenue in yesterday’s draw.
The Lions’ reward for toppling Skrill Premier home specialists FC Halifax is a home date with John Deacey’s Avenue on December 14 – just five days after facing them in a rearranged league clash at the Horsfall Stadium.
Meanwhile, following the Lions’ fine recent exploits, boss Bower has been named as the Skrill North manager of the month for November, which saw them win six out of seven games and draw the other in a fine unbeaten run.
Gloss on an uplifting month was provided by virtue of their fine 1-0 win at the Shay, thanks to a first-half goal from Halifax player Alex Johnson as they became the first side to win there this season. Alongside the kudos of a derby victory, the win was also worth £5,000 in prize money to the Lions, who also pocketed a share of the gate receipts.
Guiseley’s reward is now a clash with Avenue – and a chance of revenge after two defeats to them on home soil this term.
Avenue have already knocked Guiseley out of the FA Cup and triumphed in their league clash at Nethermoor, with Bower and his troops hoping to square the ledger this time around. Bower, who will rest a number of players in tonight’s West Riding County Cup clash at home to Selby said: “We were saying after the Halifax game that we would get Bradford Park Avenue and I think a few of their players were saying the same thing. So I don’t think many people were surprised when we drew each other.
“There will be a good crowd and the fact that a number of Conference sides have drawn each other could open it up for a few teams such as ourselves, and financially it’s a decent draw.
“Although we will probably be sick of the sight of each other by the time we play as we play them the Monday before in the league.
“And there’s also a chance we could face each other quickly again if there’s a replay as well. We certainly know plenty about each other, that’s for sure. Obviously, having beaten us, they won’t fear us. But we have improved since losing to them.”
Other County Cup action sees Ossett Albion welcome Albion Sports, while in the second round of the NCEL League Cup, Nostell Miners Welfare are at home to Staveley.
In the NCEL Premier, Thackley can go second with victory at Armthorpe.
Division One activity sees Pontefract Colls go to AFC Emley and Hemsworth welcome high-flying Shaw Lane Aquaforce.
Frickley are in action in the Doodson Sports Cup at home to Belper. Scarborough Athletic visit Brigg.