GUISELEY MANAGER Mark Bower is banking on a case of fourth time lucky at Aldershot Town’s Recreation Ground tomorrow afternoon.
The Lions kick-off 2014 with a trip to Skrill Premier outfit and ex-league club Shots in a third-round FA Trophy clash, with the prize at stake for the winners being a quarter-final spot along with £7,000 in prize money.
Victory would propel Guiseley to within three games of Wembley, although Bower, who copped a hat-trick of defeats at Aldershot on his playing visits there with Bradford City, Luton and Darlington, is under no illusions about the size of the task.
That said, he is adamant Guiseley – who welcome Danny Hall and Danny Forrest back into contention – have no real pressure on their shoulders.
Bower, who has no plans to bring in defensive cover after the departure of Adam Lockwood to Oldham, said: “I have played there with three different sides and lost on each occasion, unfortunately.
“Personally, I didn’t have a good record there, but hopefully that will change now I am a manager.
“It will be a good chance to see how far we have come and how we stand up against another Conference team.
“We put in a good performance against Halifax and we will say to the players: ‘You went out and matched them on that day, there’s no reason why we can’t do the same against Aldershot.
“They have a good mix of players with a lot of Football League games under their belt and young players on loan from the Championship. They also have one of the Conference’s top-scorers in Brett Williams and a really good home record.
“So we know it will be very, very difficult and we are the underdogs going into the game. We’ll tell the lads to enjoy the occasion and do what they have to do and if they do that, they have got a chance.
“There’s no real pressure on us, other than the pressure we put on ourselves to put in a good performance. We are taking a few fans down there too, so it should be a good occasion, although it will be a better one if we get a good result.
Tomorrow is Guiseley’s first match since Boxing Day and while further progress would add to their fixture backlog, they certainly won’t be complaining.
Bower added: “In each draw in the trophy, we have drawn a side a league above us, so like that we’ll do things the hard way.
“There’s only one other side in our league in the trophy still and we are going to have four, five and even six league games in hand on some teams, come the next time we play against Stockport a week on Saturday.
“But we won’t complain about it.”
Harrogate Town, buoyed by a fine 3-1 win over a Leeds United XI in midweek, entertain Stalybridge in Skrill North. Bradford Park Avenue visit Gloucester.