Lions aim to silence Tamworth at Lamb

Alex Johnson
Alex Johnson
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GUISELEY’S attempt at a remake of the Silence of the Lambs should make for compelling viewing tomorrow.

That is the message from Lions manager Mark Bower ahead of his side’s Vanarama North trip to form side Tamworth at the Lamb ground.

The Midlanders, one place below Guiseley in fourth place, are running seriously hot and victory tomorrow would hand them an incredible tenth straight win, while seeing them leapfrog the Nethermoor outfit in the table.

Guiseley have a thing or two to say about that and are also in good order, having lost just twice since the end of August in the league, both against second-placed Barrow.

It has all the makings of a classic clash, according to Bower, who has pinpointed home striker Dave Hibbert, who he played with at Bradford City as a dangerman.

Bower, whose side can jump above Barrow with victory into second spot, said: “They are in a decent run of form. Nine wins in a row is sensational form really and it will be a tough game, especially being away from home.

“But we have a team with the best away record in the league against a real form side, so it should be a good game between two sides going well.

“For us, the important thing is to keep that gap between us as the sixth-placed side and if we can get a win and go above Barrow, that will be great.

“But we know it will be difficult and any team who have won nine on the bounce need to be respected.

“We will go there and try and nullify what they do and play our game as well.

“Tamworth are very well organised and the new manager who has gone in there has inherited a good squad of players, to be fair.

“They are good at what they do and get the ball forward and have got a bit of pace as well.

“They have got the ingredients in terms of being solid and dangerous up front to pick results up. We will have to be at our best to break them down.”

After their 4-2 New Year’s Day victory over Harrogate, Guiseley’s clash at Worcester fell victim to the weather, which Bower feels was no bad thing with their options limited.

That said, Guiseley have plenty to look forward to in 2015, according to Bower, whose side are only five points behind leaders AFC Fylde.

He added: “To be fair, we would have been down to the bare bones at Worcester, if the game had been on Sunday and with the suspensions and injuries, we would have had four teenagers on the bench.

“Hopefully, we won’t have any more absences from this weekend’s games.

“To be fair, the young lads and the squad players have done well. Nicky Boshell came on in the first half on New Year’s Day and Alex Johnson has gone in with Boyesy suspended and done a top job for us. Everyone is putting a really good shift in for us. We have lots to look forward to. Any team from about sixth or seventh upwards will still be thinking they can finish in top spot.

“The last few weeks have shown anyone can beat anyone, with the likes of Hyde getting a point against Barrow and I do think it will be really tight and if we start our run before we had the great run last year, it can take us to where we want to be.

“There’s loads to play for and the lads can look forward to the rest of the season.”

Harrogate Town visit Brackley and they can move up into mid-table with victory in Northamptonshire.

In the FA Trophy, Halifax welcome Alfreton.

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PAUL LINES is hoping home is where the heart is in Nostell’s Great Escape quest in the NCEL Premier,

Basement boys Welfare, inactive since before Christmas and with just nine points to their name this term, host Maltby Main tomorrow, with the Crofton-based outfit having six of their next seven league matches on home soil.

For manager Lines, who coped admirably with a firefighting brief during his time at Nostell’s now defunct cross-city rivals Wakefield FC, where he knew a fair bit about relegation battles, it represents an opportunity to be grasped.

He said: “We have a load of home games and maybe only four or five games left away as we played a lot away at the start of the season because we were having our pitch done.

“We have got to make it a fortress here and not a place where people think: ‘These are nice facilities, we will get three points and rule these over.’

“That has not got to happen any more and we want people to think: ‘Christ, these will give us a game.’

“We can get some momentum with the run of games and I think once we can get a win, we will be up and running.

“Some of the teams around us have played three or four more games and we are playing catch-up, but the games are there and it’s a chance.”

He added: “For me, it’s a similar scenario to Wakefield with a blueprint to keep Nostell up. Then, I will have done my job.

“Hopefully with that, in the next year, we can build and consolidate and get to halfway realistically. But I want more than that.

“Eventually, I would like to get into the Evo-Stik.

“We have the capacity to do that with the ground and everything like that.

“If I can get the players, I feel we can do that in time.”

Lines has boosted his squad in the past few weeks, with several players coming in, including Matty Thompson from Ossett Albion.

Elsewhere, Glasshoughton and Thackley welcome Handsworth Parramore and Barton Town, Liversedge and Garforth head to Cleethorpes and Parkgate respectively.

In Division One, Yorkshire Amateur play host to Bottesford and Selby entertain AFC Mansfield.

AFC Emley welcome Grimsby Borough, while Knaresborough and Hemsworth visit Hallam and Teversal, respectively.

Pontefract Collieries are at Winterton and Eccleshill United make the long journey to face Louth.

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FRICKLEY ATHLETIC boss Karl Rose admits the next month is ‘absolutely crucial’ towards the fate of the Blues’ fluctuating season.

Rose’s side travel to Evo-Stik Premier Division outfit Stamford tomorrow, with the South Elmsall-based club having been challenged to extinguish any burning relegation fires and push towards the safe waters of mid-table.

Rose sees no reason why the Blues cannot do that and provide themselves with security in the final months of the season, to avoid what is danger of becoming a perennial relegation scrap.

Rose said: “The next month is absolutely crucial to decide what we are going to be doing this season. If we can continue our good form, there’s no reason why we won’t be mid-table.

“But on the other side of the coin, we have got to guard against a bad run of form.

“We have been playing well and need to turn those narrow defeats into draws and draws into wins.

“If we can string some good results together, it will go a long way towards taking us a long way away from the wrong end of the table.”

The Blues were inactive at the weekend due to midweek opponents Blyth Spartans being in FA Cup action and despite a number of games in hand on their rivals, Rose does not view it as an insurance policy.

His sole concern is performance and if his side perform that side of the bargain as they did in the win over Blyth, he is confident of getting a positive result against the Tulips tomorrow.

He added: “Because everyone else has played so many more games, we have been going in the wrong direction in the league.

“Games in hand mean nothing if you don’t go and win them and the key games we have had called off have been against teams in and around us where we would have liked to think we would have got maximum points.

“We need to put some daylight between us and those at the bottom and make sure we are climbing the table rather than looking over our shoulder. Stamford who are in and around us is winnable and there’s no reason if we play like we can, with confidence in our performances, we can pick the points up.”

Action in the First Division North sees Farsley AFC and Ossett Albion welcome Radcliffe and Scarborough Athletic. Ossett Town and Harrogate Railway visit Kendal and Warrington respectively.

Goole welcome Sutton Coldfield in the First Division South.

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