Guiseley AFC: Kittrick thrilled as Lions year rolls on

Guiseley's Simon Baldry, (centre) celebrates after scoring the equalizing goal with team mates Gavin Rothery (left) and Darryn Stamp (right).
Guiseley's Simon Baldry, (centre) celebrates after scoring the equalizing goal with team mates Gavin Rothery (left) and Darryn Stamp (right).
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While most Conference North managers are out booking their summer holidays, Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick is relishing the prospect of being involved in at least two more games.

The Lions drew 2-2 at home with Eastwood Town on Saturday to finish fifth in the table and consolidate their place in this season’s play-offs.

With the weekend’s opponents themselves being denied a play-off spot due to failing a ground inspection, Guiseley’s place was assured already but it was important for them to get their spot on warrant.

At the start of the season many expected the Nethermoor Park outfit to struggle at this level so Kittrick has taken great pleasure in proving the naysayers wrong.

“We wanted to be there on our merit and not just on someone else’s misfortune,” Kittrick said.

“The main thing is we got in the top five and we’re there because we deserve to be. But it’s not over yet.

“Some people didn’t expect much from us but I like to make people eat their words and I’m forever the optimist. I’m confident in my own ability and I’m confident in my players.”

But things didn’t start well for Kittick’s team on Saturday as poor marking allowed Andy Todd to head the visitors in front after just four minutes.

Parity was restored on 25 minutes when Luke Sharry’s shot fell at the feet of Simon Baldry on the edge of the six-yard box and the ex-Huddersfield Town man poked home.

And just before the break Guiseley had the lead after leading scorer James Walshaw nodded home the loose ball after a Baldry header cannoned off the post.

Early in the second half it looked like the Lions would coast to their 21st win of the campaign, but despite goalkeeper Steven Drench shutting out a contentious penalty, the visitors levelled the scores on 67 minutes when Adie Hawes headed home.

With Nuneaton losing 3-2 at Alfreton Town, Guiseley will meet Boston United in the first leg of the play-offs at home on tomorrow night.

And if they can get through, Kittrick is hoping to face Andy Sinton’s Telford United, a team The Lions haven’t faired well against this season.

“I don’t think Boston will fancy playing us because we’re a resilient team and we play good football,” he stated.

“The lads are all up for it now and just want to get on with it.

“I’d like to go to Telford in the final and beat them to get revenge because I thought we played very well when we went there.

“They pinched it at their ground and at home 3-0 flattered them.”

Meanwhile, Harrogate Town ended the season on a disappointing note after taking a 3-0 battering at promotion-chasing AFC Telford United.

It means Harrogate finish in 12th spot, 23 points off the play-offs and 14 clear of the dropzone.

Carl Rogers gave Telford the lead midway through the first half with a header.

Alex Meechan doubled the score in the second half before Phil Trainer added his name to the score-sheet with a close-range finish.

After the game, in a ceremony in the Kickers Bar, Town chairman Bill Fotherby presented the Chairman’s Player of the Year Trophy to the popular recipient Dominic Roma.

Guiseley manager Adam Lockwood. PIC: Tony Johnson

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