Guiseley plot a path past rudderless Carpetmen

Guiseley manager Mark Bower.   Pic: Tony Johnson.
Guiseley manager Mark Bower. Pic: Tony Johnson.
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Mark Bower believes it is difficult to predict what sort of Kidderminster Harriers side his Guiseley team will face tomorrow.

The Harriers have been without a manager since their last league game after former Leeds United head coach Dave Hockaday was dismissed from his role.

A run of postponements – including Tuesday night’s game against Cheltenham – over the last month means that the last time Kidderminster played was on December 28 of last year.

Caretaker manager Colin Gordon remains in charge, while the club could potentially hand five players their debuts against Guiseley.

They include former player Keith Lowe, academy duo Tyrone Williams and James Hancocks, and new additions Ousmane Fane and Arthur Gnahoua.

Bower admits this means this could either be a good or bad time to take on the National League’s basement side.

He said: “It could work either way. The manager left after the last game. They have not played for the best part of a month. They have a load of new players in, so you can look at it in two different ways.

“They might be well-rested and with new players who are looking to make an impression, or they might be a bit rusty with new players coming into the team who are not familiar with anyone else.

“It’s a little bit of a step into the unknown for us really. We are not really too sure how they are going to play or who will play, so we will have to deal with that as and when it comes about, and concentrate on what we can do and go there and win.”

Bower also admitted that Kidderminster’s postponements have impaired his preparations for the game, especially as the Lions last faced the Carpetmen two managers ago.

“We played them early on and the plan was to go down to Cheltenham on Tuesday and watch them in the game they were supposed to have, but that got called off on Monday,” he revealed.

“We have not seen much of them. I’ve had a scout report, had them watched a couple of times, but we were hoping to get them watched closer to us playing them, so not ideal.

“Equally so for them though, I don’t think they will see it as ideal that they have not played for such a length of time as well.”

Bower will be able to call upon Anthony Dudley, who had a goalscoring return to Guiseley against Dulwich Hamlet after agreeing another loan spell from Bury.

“He is in the team because he scores goals,” Bower continued.

“In the last spell he had with us he scored them and he has started that way again. He got lucky with the deflection last Saturday but he gets in those areas, causes trouble and if you don’t shoot you won’t win the prize, so to speak.”

Elsewhere, Halifax Town will be looking to win a third game in a row when they travel to Woking. Harrogate Town, who won 3-2 against Hednesford on January 9, their last game, host Solihull Moors in the National League North.

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Harrogate Railway Athletic have been boosted by the return of former chairman Rob Northfield to Station View.

Northfield returns with Railway second-bottom of the Evo-Stik First Division North.

The Harrogate side have won just once in their last 15 matches. Northfield, a wealthy businessman who owns motivational speaking firm 2inspire, returns in an advisory role, but may provide some financial backing to the club.

Speaking to YEP sister newspaper the Harrogate Advertiser, Northfield said: “I really want to make sure that they stay in the division. If they go down it will take them 20 years to get back into it.”

Nigel Corner, who will remain as chairman despite Northfield’s arrival, admitted: “He has seen the club struggling and thinks he can help.

“If he can help in any shape or form it will be good. It will ensure the club have a successful end to the season, and that would be to survive relegation.”

Railway face Radcliffe Borough tomorrow having lost out 3-1 to Farsley Celtic on Wednesday.

Celtic themselves host Bamber Bridge knowing a win could take them up to seventh.

Ossett Albion can climb up to third if they manage to take three points when they host Northwich Victoria.

Ossett Town are out of the relegation zone ahead of their trip to Trafford tomorrow.

Meanwhile, in the Premier Division, 14th-place Frickley Athletic host basement side Ramsbottom United.

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Tadcaster Albion will play their first competitive fixture for 35 days when they travel to Brigg Town tomorrow.

It has been a long wait for Albion, who have suffered a series of postponements due to the flooding that has impacted Tadcaster.

Without a game for over a month, manager Billy Miller used Tuesday’s Under-21s game against Scarborough Athletic to give five first-team players a run-out. They were former Manchester United man Jonathan Greening, George Conway, Andy Milne, Nick Thompson and Jordan Armstrong.

“It was great to have one or two of them get some pitch time,” said Miller.

“[Jonathan] is such a humble person. To go and do that was class from him and it will stand him in good stead going into the next few games.

“He was so good with the younger players and got them to relax on the ball, so it was massive for the kids.”

Albion have dropped from the top of the NCEL Premier to fifth but they have six games in hand on current top side Bridlington Town.

Victories in those games would put Albion back into first, with the gap currently standing at seven points.

They could leapfrog Cleethorpes Town in fourth by beating Brigg Town, who are 20th.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Pontefract Collieries travel to Worksop Town. Pontefract will have to bely the league table to pick up a victory, with the visitors currently in 17th place and the hosts in third, only two points away from top spot.

Basement side Liversedge will be looking to climb off bottom spot with a win against Athersley Recreation at home. Athersley are 16th.

In Division One, Hemsworth Miners Welfare can extend their lead at the top of the table when they travel to Hull United.

They are currently six points clear, but Hull could prove a tough test; the Humberside club are only 10 points behind Hemsworth and occupy third spot.

Selby Town are also in action when they host Dronfield Town, while Glasshoughton Welfare face Grimsby Borough at home. Westella VIP are on the road, travelling to AFC Mansfield tomorrow.

Mansfield are second in the table and look like one of few sides capable of stopping Hemsworth’s title charge.

KEY MAN: John Rooney saw his free-kick deflected into the side to give Guiseley the lead in Saturdays 1-1 draw with visiting Dover Athletic.

Non league: Lions make their point in Dover draw