MARK BOWER is confident window recruits Oli Johnson and Adam Boyes will get their ball rolling again at Nethermoor –after difficult spells in the last few years.
The arrival of the duo has boosted Bower’s striking options ahead of an increased congested schedule over the coming weeks and months when the Lions’ resources will be tested to the full.
Guiseley, who suffered frustration on Saturday when their Skrill Premier home clash with Stalybridge Celtic was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, are hoping for better luck at Barrow this evening, with the Bluebirds being one of Boyes’ former clubs.
The Gateshead forward has arrived on loan for the rest of the season and Bower is sure both he and Johnson can prove quality additions for Guiseley.
Bower said: “Both have played at higher levels and will prove good additions to us.
“It’s been injuries with Oli and hopefully he can build match fitness with us and get back to what he was like a few years ago and in the kind of form that took him up the leagues. If we can help him back up that way, it will be brilliant for us and him. It will mutually beneficial, but we will be gradually easing him in.
“He has got his obvious qualities and if we can keep him fit, he’s an asset.
“Adam has scored goals at Conference level at a side who have been struggling towards the lower end of the league ni the last few seasons. He’s been training full-time at Gateshead and is a fit lad as well. He’s not played much this season and has a point to prove and wants to score some goals and play regular football. And if he can do that, it will help himself and the club.”
Tonight’s encounter – weather permitting – is the first of a tough away double-header for the Lions, who visit AFC Telford at the weekend.
Despite residing just three places above the relegation zone, the Cumbrians, who saw their weekend game at Gloucester also fall foul of the weather, are one of the division’s form horses and Bower says his side will have to be at their best to get a positive result.
Hoping for a weather break first and foremost tonight at Holker Street after another addition to their packed league programme, Bower added: “It will no doubt be difficult conditions and not conducive to good football and they are on a really good run as well and have just beaten Brackley away and Telford away, which were two great results. Darren Edmondson has gone in there and really turned them around as they were bottom of the league when he went there and they are probably the form team in the division and have picked up some really good wins.
“We will know their strengths, but will concentrate on our job.”
He added: “We will presume it’s on, until told otherwise.
“I don’t think we have a home game now until the second week in February and it’s going to be a fair old gap between home games, which is disappointing.
“We thought we were alright on Saturday, but had a deluge an hour or so before kick-off and it meant there was no chance of playing. There was nothing we could do about it. Everyone did their best to get it on.”
Also in action tonight, weather permitting are Harrogate Town, who can book their place in the West Riding County Cup final if they see off Ossett Albion in their semi-final at the CNG Stadium.
Despite the priority of league business, boss Simon Weaver has pledged to treat the competition seriously as Town seek an addition to their trophy cabinet.
Weaver said: “We are looking forward to the game. Suddenly we are in a semi and it would be nice for the locals to enjoy a final and we could be playing for a cup at the end of the day.
“Getting to the final would be an achievement and we want to win it.
“Some of the young lads showed what they could go in our recent friendly game against Leeds United and it might be that we give a few of them an opportunity. It’s certainly a competition that we want to win.”
Thackley’s NCEL Premier home clash with Albion Sports has been called off on health and safety grounds due to a floodlight collapse at Dennyfield.
Elsewhere, Brighouse Town go to Lincoln Moorlands and Nostell MW are due in at Worksop Parramore.
Frickley visit Brigg in a rearranged clash in the third round of the Doodson Sport Cup.