National League: Guiseley’s Lions set to roar | FC Halifax face hit the road

Phil Rogerson.
Phil Rogerson.
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CHAIRMAN Phil Rogerson has issued a fans’ rallying cry ahead of Guiseley’s pressure-cooker run-in, stating: “Let’s make the end of the season equally successful on the pitch as off it.”

The Lions have already enjoyed one major triumph this week with their Nethermoor ground recommended for Grade A status following an inspection on Wednesday afternoon.

The decision paves the way for Guiseley to remain in the National League, as long as Mark Bower’s men can keep themselves outside of the division’s bottom four.

The Lions are seventh-bottom and three points clear of fourth-bottom Altrincham, but three of the teams below them will overtake Guiseley if they win their games in hand.

The Leeds side visit seventh-placed Eastleigh tomorrow, before back-to-back home games against Cheltenham and Wrexham.

And chairman Rogerson is now looking for a double celebration following the successful conclusion to recent building works at Nethermoor which increased terraced standing capacity and added essential improvements such as emergency lighting and additional turnstiles and convenience facilities.

“It’s taken an enormous effort to achieve this grading in such a short space of time,” said Rogerson. “I’d like to thank everybody who has helped us get to this point, from contractors and our grounds team to everyone who has given up their time to paint and tidy.

“We have home games against Cheltenham, Wrexham and Torquay remaining.

“I’d like to ask as many of our fans as possible to come and cheer the team on to help make the end of the season equally successful on the pitch as off it!”

Matt Brown and James Bolton return to the squad for FC Halifax Town’s long trip to Dover.

The Shaymen had a mixed Easter with the televised victory over relegation rivals Altrincham last Saturday being followed by Monday’s 4-1 hammering at Barrow.

Just one point now separates Halifax from the drop zone and Jim Harvey admits there can be no repeat of the poor defensive showing in Cumbria.

“Nothing went for us on Monday,” said the Town manager. “But we live to fight another day. We will pick up and get on with it.”

Sam Walker will miss the trip to the south coast after injuring his knee in the loss to Barrow.

In National League North, boss Simon Weaver has backed his faltering Harrogate Town side to “play through a dip” and steady the ship for his side’s promotion drive.

Harrogate remain comfortably in the play-offs in fourth place, but welcome sixth-bottom Stalybridge Celtic tomorrow having gone six games without a win.

“Everyone has had a dip,” said Weaver. “We are all battling for our place to stay in there.

“Sometimes footballers have to play their way through a dip.

“In cricket, some of the best players in the world have to just keep on batting and keep their head up when all around them is struggling. Something will happen, whether it’s a deflection or a soft goal.

“The lads just need to be a bit more selfish in front of goal.

“We just have to try and think about our next game and not focus on the frustration and the dip.

“I certainly don’t want people to think we don’t want to go up. Everyone is working their socks off to do so.”

Fourteenth-placed Bradford Park Avenue, who beat Town on Bank Holiday Monday, visit leaders Solihull Moors tomorrow.

Guiseley goalkeeper Jonny Maxted saves his first penalty at 
Accrington Stanley in the sides' FA Cup first-round replay. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Guiseley: Going full-time paying off for keeper Maxted – and the Lions