Guiseley AFC: Bower’s looking for Lions to pick up six home points

Mark Bower
Mark Bower
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A FIXTURE list encompassing Wrexham, Forest Green, Macclesfield and Lincoln City may represent some marquee fixtures at Conference level – but for Mark Bower, the real stuff starts now.

A FIXTURE list encompassing Wrexham, Forest Green, Macclesfield and Lincoln City may represent some marquee fixtures at Conference level – but for Mark Bower, the real stuff starts now.

After a quartet of games in which Guiseley were not expected, externally at least, to pick up much, now comes the acid test of two winnable looking National League home games against sides of a similar ilk in Boreham Wood and Welling.

The former visit Nethermoor tomorrow under a new boss in Luke Garrard before Welling come calling in just over a fortnight.

For Bower, whose 18th-placed side ended a three-match losing sequence in a 3-3 thriller at Wrexham on Wednesday, there will be a element of expectancy and pressure in the next two games and he says his side must produce.

He said: “We stopped the rot after three straight defeats, but need to crack on and start picking up threes rather than ones.

“We have a couple of home games that we need to be positive about.

“I spoke to a couple of people after the Forest Green game last weekend and they said that we won’t be defined by how we do against them, but against teams in and around us in the middle of the table.

“We have quite a good record against teams in the bottom half of the table and these next games are massive and will probably be tougher than the ones against the bigger teams.

“We must make sure we are ready for two tough battles. While we always expect a performance from our players, there will be a little bit more pressure on us in that people will be looking at us to win to have relative success.

“To do that, we need to be picking up points from teams in and around us and I am sure it is the same for them (Boreham Wood and Welling).

Bower’s side were within a couple of minutes of a heroic victory at Wrexham, only for the hosts to grab an undeserved stoppage-time leveller.

The point at least ended a three-match losing streak, but Bower admitted his main gripe, for the umpteenth time this term, was poor officiating.

Guiseley have borne the brunt of a number of bad decisions already this season, with Bower sick to the back teeth at suffering at the hands of officials and being on the receiving end of the ‘small club syndrome.’

Bower, who will be without the suspended Gavin Rothery tomorrow, said: “We played more than well enough to win the game and in fairness, their manager admitted that afterwards.

“But again, we were frustrated by decisions which went against us. Match-changing decisions.

“It’s a shame as I feel sorry for the lads in that they are doing enough in games to get better results. But when there are 3,500 Wrexham fans screaming for decisions, it is possible that can play a part.

“People say things even themselves out, but we have had some shocking ones in the early ones and in the past couple of games, we have had some pivotal ones go against us.

“It’s hard to take, although it’s part of being a small and less fashionable team in the league and we have to deal with it.”

Elsewhere, FC Halifax, reeling after a torrid 7-0 drubbing at Grimsby, head to Chester.

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SUDDENLY things at looking up again for Farsley Celtic.

Neil Parsley’s side boast a five-match unbeaten run going into tomorrow’s Evo-Stik North clash at Ossett Albion, having walloped Witton 7-0 in midweek.

All told, Celtic, who recently brought in Adam Clayton and Liam Bennett, have lost just once in seven matches.

Elsewhere, Brighouse, who won impressively at Spennymoor in midweek, host Glossop North End and Ossett Town head to Lancaster. Harrogate Rail host Northwich.

In the Premier, Frickley Athletic, who have re-signed former striker Brad Grayson and AFC Mansfield defender Brett Lucas, welcome Marine.

NCEL Premier leaders Tadcaster, two points clear at the summit, hope to pile on more woe for Nostell, who have not won in their past 11 matches.

Another side in poor recent form are Liversedge, who will be aiming to stop the rot at home to Maltby Main at Clayborn.

Thackley visit Staveley and Garforth head to Clipstone. Pontefract Colls entertain Cleethorpes and Albion Sports visit Parkgate.

Division One high-fliers Hemsworth are at home to AFC Emley, with another all-Yorkshire clash seeing Glasshoughton go to Knaresborough.

Eccleshill host AFC Mansfield, Selby welcome Shirebrook and Yorkshire Amateur entertain Hall Road Rangers.

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SIMON WEAVER has challenged his in-form Harrogate Town squad to earn their shirts for the biggest home tie since their memorable FA Cup run of 2012.

After knocking out Burscough in a comfortable 3-0 win on Saturday, Town landed a prime draw in the famous competition’s fourth and final qualifying round with Grimsby Town due to arrive at the CNG Stadium on October 24.

Weaver will be judging those performance levels when his men attempt to conquer the long trip to Lowestoft this Saturday, when returning to Vanarama North action.

“It’s a cracking draw,” said Weaver.

“There’s probably a lot of easier draws out there, but we are at home which is what we wanted.

“We are against one of the biggest clubs in the competition at this stage, and I’m sure they will be bringing quite a number of supporters.”

The match will be a pertinent one for Town’s assistant boss John McDermott, who spent 20 years at Blundell Park as a player.

The former defender made more than 600 first team appearances in a black and white shirt, experiencing promotion and relegation at the Lincolnshire outfit.

“We were on the phone straight away. He is really looking forward to it,” added Weaver.

“He played all his career there and is an absolute legend. That will put even more on the game, especially for their fans who have seen him so much.”

The Town squad will travel down to Lowestoft tonight due to the financial rewards of the FA Cup – with Weaver confident that prolific winger Brendon Daniels will be available for selection.

Daniels added to his seasonal goal tally in fortuitous circumstances on Saturday after his cross flicked in off a defender.

The former Crewe Alexandra man has now scored 11 goals in all competitions.

On his match-winner, Weaver added: “He is one short of the goals he scored last year for the whole season, so hopefully he will be regarding it as good for him, because he has certainly been good for us.”

Fifth-from-bottom Bradford Park Avenue welcome Gloucester, who are two places behind them in the table, despite having the same amount of points.

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