Hatfield: Home form key to the Lions’ fate

Will Hatfield
Will Hatfield
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HOME is where the heart is as far as Guiseley as concerned.

HOME is where the heart is as far as Guiseley as concerned.

After a three-match stint on the road, the Lions return to Nethermoor for tomorrow’s National League encounter with Eastleigh, ahead of an appointment with another FA Cup giant-killer in Sutton United on Tuesday.

The return to home soil is timely for Guiseley, according to midfielder Will Hatfield, with it easy to see where he is coming from with Adam Lockwood’s side having taken 22 out of their total of points tally of 28 so far this term at Nethermoor.

Hatfield said: “We had two home games, back to back and hopefully we can try and get maximum points from the two games.

“Home form has been really good and we have a really good belief that in every home game, whoever we play, we will be on the front foot and be positive and get all three points.

“We have got to take belief when playing at home and carry on producing.”

Despite Guiseley’s 3-1 reverse at Wrexham last time out, their recent form has been consistently solid in marked contrast to the travails of early season with Lockwood’ troops having a fighting chance of survival, with the tightening up of the bottom of the table further working in their favour.

Former Leeds United and FC Halifax Town midfielder Hatfield said: “We have come on a long way since Locky has taken over and have got to keep doing that until the end of the season and there’s still plenty to play for and plenty of games to go.

“We are obviously not in a good position, but we are in one where it is in our own hands.

“We have to keep with the belief and the confidence that is going through the team at the moment and nothing changed after Saturday, when we played well.

“If we had taken our chances, it could have been a completely different scoreline and it don’t think 3-1 did it justice.”

On the bottom of the table tightening up, he added: “The more teams in and around the bottom bit, the better.

“We back ourselves against anybody.

“There’s plenty of games to play and people above us will be looking over their shoulder quite a lot.

“Especially with the results we have been picking up recently. If we can keep grinding results out, hopefully we can keep climbing up the league.

“Locky has got us more solid as a team and we have that winning feeling again and obviously, the more you win, the more confidence that comes into the team and the belief and confidence he has put into us to stay solid has really helped.

“It has been tremendous and hopefully we can finish the job off for him.”

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FC Halifax Town boss Billy Heath has called on his side to keep up the pressure on the top-five with a win at home to Nuneaton tomorrow.

The Shaymen have won four of their last five games and are one place and two points below the play-off places in the National League North.

Nuneaton won eight games in a row shortly after manager Tommy Wright was appointed in November, but have lost their last three matches on the trot. Heath, who was named as the division’s Manager of the Month for January on Wednesday, said: “Nuneaton are a good side. While their last three games haven’t seen the results they’d have wanted, before then they were storming it. They’re a dangerous side. They’ve changed things around since (previous manager) Kelvin Wilson left but they’ve been on a decent run and we have to be mindful of that.

“But we’re on a great run of form, confidence is high and there’s a spring in everyone’s step. We’ve just got to keep the run going and keep the pressure on the teams above us.”

Elsewhere in National League North, ninth-placed Harrogate Town host Worcester City and third-from-bottom Bradford Park Avenue entertain Gainsborough Trinity.

In the Evo-Stik First Division North, second-placed Ossett Town will look to make it four wins in as many games when they host Colwyn Bay tomorrow, who are without a win since December 6.

Farsley Celtic sit in fourth place with three games in hand on leaders Lancaster City, after they lost a two-goal advantage against the table-toppers last Saturday. The Celts welcome fifth-placed Glossop North End, with both teams securing good wins on Tuesday.

Further down the league, four points separate ninth-placed Brighouse Town and 13th-placed Ramsbottom United, with The Rams hosting Town tomorrow afternoon.

Tadcaster Albion face an in-form Bamber Bridge at home whilst 18th-placed Ossett Albion will be hoping to move further away from the relegation zone, when they travel to 12th-placed Kendal Town.

In the Evo-Stik Premier Division, struggling Frickley Athletic will be hoping for a change in fortunes when they go to Buxton tomorrow, after suffering three consecutive losses.

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Pickering Town will be looking to cut Cleethorpes Town’s lead at the top of the Premier Divison, in a Yorkshire derby this weekend.

The Pikes travel to Hemsworth Miners Welfare on Saturday, who lost 3-0 to away to the league-leaders last Saturday, to leave them in 12th position.

Elsewhere, seventh-placed Liversedge will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat, as they welcome a struggling Retford United. Garforth Town host Bottesford Town, with the home side just two points and one place ahead of the visitors in 13th, whilst 17th-placed Harrogate Railway face a tough test a home, against fourth-placed Thackley, although they’re without a win in three games.

Meanwhile, leaders AFC Emley will be looking to get back to winning ways in Division One, after their shock 1-0 defeat to Brigg Town, as they visit lowly Dronfield Town.

Pontefract Collieries sit two points behind Emley and they take on 16th-placed Teversal at home, whilst fellow title challengers Grimsby Borough travel to rock-bottom Nostell Miners Welfare, who are nine points off safety.

Other fixtures in the league include Selby Town going to Shirebrook Town, Glasshoughton Welfare playing at Worsborough Bridge Athletic and Yorkshire Amateur travel south for a tricky tie against Hallam.

Nathan Cartman.

Cartman and Walshaw on target in Farsley Celtic victory