Guiseley manager Mark Bower has called on his players to secure a first league double of the season when they face FC Halifax Town tomorrow.
Bower’s side are already overly familiar with their local National League rivals, having played three games against the Shaymen this campaign. The first, a league clash at Nethermoor Park, finished 2-1 to the Lions.
The two were then matched up for a derby in the FA Cup third qualifying round. Held at The Shay on October 24, the intial match finished 2-2 after Guiseley came back from two goals behind. The replay three days later was won 2-1 by Town after extra-time.
Since then, Halifax have dismissed manager Darren Kelly and put his assistant Jim Harvey in charge. Bower admits his team will come up against a very different side tomorrow to the one they faced just over a month ago.
He said: “They’ve chopped and changed quite a few times, not just in terms of managers. Jim Harvey is an experienced manager at this level, he’s done very well at this level before.
“He’s taken over, they’ve won two out of two games that he’s in charge. There will be a completely different confidence in the side we come up against.
“Those two results will have given them some belief.
“I think it’s fair to say that we will have four or five different players to the last time we played them too. There have been changes on both sides.
“We won the last league game against them, it would be nice to get our first league double of the season, and that is what we will be going there to aim for.”
Bower’s team are back in form after halting a run of three straight defeats with a victory against Bromley. They were aided in that win by a long-range strike by Oliver Norburn, a brilliant effort that has since become a viral sensation.
The manager believes that it is to his team’s benefit to have a player like Norburn in the side.
He said: “It was a great goal. Oliver’s got that in his locker. He loves shooting from distance.
“He does that sort of thing in training, and was unlucky with one just before that that hit the crossbar as well. It’s a great asset to have in your team.
“We’d been on top in the first-half, and if we had gone in at 0-0 it could have been a bit of a downer for the lads. It gave us a bit of a spark. I think it’s been shown around the country because it was such a good goal.”
Anthony Dudley also returned to goalscoring form after not finding the net in any of Guiseley’s three losses. Bower was happy to see him back among the goals.
“You always want your forward players scoring goals or making goals,” Bower said.
“He had a few chances in the game and in previous games. Strikers thrive and get their confidence from finding the back of the net. He’s got four in six, and that’s a good return for a young lad. Hopefully he can get a few more.”
Meanwhile in the National League North, fifth-placed Harrogate Town travel to Gainsborough Trinity. Realistically, a win could lift Town to third in the table, although they will have to perform better than in their last game, a 1-0 loss at home against Curzon Ashton.
Bradford Park Avenue return to action after postponing their game against Buxton in mid-week, hosting Stalybridge Celtic at the Horsfall Stadium.
Glasshoughton Welfare’s new managerial duo Simon Houghton and Craig Wilkinson have admitted they need to rejig their squad ahead of the visit of Yorkshire Amateur tomorrow.
Houghton and Wilkinson were officially confirmed as the club’s new joint-managers on Tuesday evening.
The duo replaced Mick Norbury, who resigned last week, and bring with them considerable experience of the Northern Counties Eastern League.
Houghton has previously taken charge of Pontefract and Shaw Lane Aquaforce, and was assistant manager at Glasshoughton when they won promotion in 2011/12. Wilkinson worked with him at Kinsley Boys last campaign.
Welfare are haemorrhaging players and are expected to lose Nathan Perks to Selby Town. Kingsley Wetherald, Del Pollock, and Reece Lucas are also expected to depart or already have left.
Shortly after his appointment, Houghton admitted the pair had work ahead of them.
“The role works for me and it works for Craig so we move on from there,” Houghton said.
“It is not a brilliant situation we have inherited, but there are some good players signed on. We have a bit of ringing round now.
“There are a couple of players leaving so we will be looking to bring in two or three new players for Saturday.”
Elsewhere in Division One, Hemsworth Miners Welfare can extend their lead at the top of the table when they travel to face Westella VIP. They are currently six points clear of Hull United in second.
Selby Town are also on the road, at Penistone Church.
In the Premier Division, Tadcaster Albion are in action against Staveley Miners Welfare.
Albion were finally able to play a fixture on Tuesday after no football since November 14, beating Worksop Town 4-1 in the FA Vase second round.
Liversedge are also away tomorrow, travelling to face Albion Sports. Nostell Miners Welfare host fifth-placed Barton Town Old Boys, who are sure to provide a stern test.
Pontefract Collieries could climb above Garforth Town and into 12th with a win against Athersley Recreation, although they would need bottom of the table Brigg Town to beat Garforth to make that leap above them.
Frickley Athletic host top of the table Nantwich Town tomorrow in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, knowing that victory could lift them up to eighth in the league.
However, they will face their in-form opponents without striker Zeph Thomas. Thomas, who has scored eight goals in 22 games for Frickley, is leaving the club to join Mickleover Sports.
Nantwich Town have won six of their last seven games and have scored 75 goals in all competitions this term.
Farsley Celtic travel to Radcliffe Borough on the back of a run of five wins in a row in all competitions, capped off by their 2-0 victory against Trafford last weekend.
That run has pushed Farsley up to sixteenth in the First Division North, and another win could move them up to 14th. Borough are currently a point above the relegation zone, and will be looking for a victory to increase that gap.
Harrogate Railway Athletic are the team on Radcliffe’s shoulder in 21st, with a win pulling them away from danger. They travel to Bamber Bridge tomorrow.
Clitheroe, fourth in the division, host struggling Witton Albion, who have lost four of their last five.
Ossett Albion are on the road against Trafford, while local rivals Ossett Town welcome Droylsden to The 4G Voice and Data Stadium.
Brighouse Town could leapfrog their opposition with a victory, the 10th placed team facing Mossley, who are eighth in the league.