Non-League Football: Fully-rested Lions out to avenge last Roses defeat

Ryan Toulson.
Ryan Toulson.
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A SPOT of choice payback is on the menu for Guiseley in their Roses clash at Chorley tomorrow.

That’s the message from Lions chief Mark Bower, whose side are expected to return to action after their two-week weather hiatus at Victory Park in Vanarama North (3pm).

Plenty is riding on the game with Guiseley occupying the final play-off spot in fifth, but they will be usurped by Chorley if the Lancastrians – a point behind them in sixth place – are victorious.

Garry Flitcroft’s Magpies also have the psychological fillip of doing a number on Guiseley in mid December, triumphing 2-0 in the FA Trophy at Nethermoor and Bower admits that will be at the forefront of his players’ minds tomorrow.

On his players needing no reminding of that result, he said: “I think so. No-one likes getting beat and certainly as it is not too long ago, it is fresh in everyone’s minds.

“We saw on the day with the way they set up and way they played, when they tried to stop us, that they are a strong side.

“We will try and make a few adjustments while they have a few different personnel in, so they may be slightly different.

“We just need to play and perform better and defend better than we did at Boston a fortnight ago. If we do that, we have a chance of getting a result.”

The game is likely to be Guiseley’s third on the spin away from home, with several home games at Nethermoor falling victim to the weather.

While Guiseley have copped weather frustration, several other sides have been in action, with Bower revealing his side were also unable to train outdoors at the back end of last week because of the snow-bound conditions.

It’s been far from ideal, but Bower is not complaining with fitness levels still maintained and the side raring to go this weekend.

He added: “We’re hopeful it will be on. By the time we play, we will have only had one game in the best part of four weeks.

“It’s been frustrating. We have played two away games at two really tricky places to go in Tamworth and Boston and our two home games against the two bottom-placed sides in the league have been postponed.

“So we have missed out on some opportunities to get some points on the board.”

The postponements have at least ensured that key players such as Ben Parker and Andy Holdsworth have not missed too many games, while the mini winter break has also enabled Ryan Toulson and Oli Johnson some extra time to rest and recuperate.

Bower said: “There has been pluses and minuses and the time will benefit some players and we should at least have a healthy squad to pick from for the weekend.

“It will have helped one or two. Ryan Toulson has only just come back and Oli Johnson has had time to rest one or two problems.”

Also tomorrow, Harrogate Town visit second-placed AFC Fylde and Bradford Park Avenue go to Boston United.

In the FA Trophy, FC Halifax welcome Dartford.

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GARFORTH TOWN are aiming to avoid the perils of an After The Lord Mayor’s Show scenario tomorrow.

The Miners are cock-a-hoop after a fine West Riding County Cup giant-killing 2-0 win at Harrogate Town in midweek which booked a place in the final after goals from Mark Simpson and Tawanda Rupere.

It followed hot on the heels of a new consortium taking over the running of the show, with manager Graham Nicholas hoping that the feel-good factor will continue at home to Armthorpe Welfare this afternoon in the NCE League Premier.

Glasshoughton Welfare and Nostell play host to Pickering and Athersley Rec respectively.

Liversedge travel to Heanor and Albion Sports visit Retford United. Thackley host Staveley.

It’s a West Yorkshire one-two-three in Division One, with leaders AFC Emley hosting Knaresborough.

Hemsworth, in second, visit Hall Road Rangers, while third-placed Pontefract Colls go to Hallam.

Yorkshire Amateur and Selby welcome Lincoln Moorlands and Eccleshill.

Frickley entertain Stourbridge in the Evo-Stik Premier, while Ossett Town face a toughie at Darlington 1883 in the First Division North.

Farsley AFC and Scarborough Athletic welcome Burscough and Clitheroe. Harrogate Rail go to Padiham.

Ossett Albion host Radcliffe (2pm).

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TADCASTER ALBION are readying themselves for their FA Vase fifth-round date with destiny at AFC Mansfield tomorrow – with Paul Marshall calling on his side to become history boys.

Wembley is a tantalising four games away from Taddy, who will be backed by a big travelling army.

Marshall said: “It is probably our biggest game since 1978 when we last reached this round.

“We have reached it once before and it would be nice to go further.

“There’s about 200 of our fans going. We seem to have built up a head of steam and everyone wants to come and watch us, which is brilliant.”

“I think everyone knows Mansfield are improving their squad week by week and putting their money down to have a go at it. It will be a tough game.

“It is 50-50. As much as they are in a league below us, it does not mean anything. They have signed Evo-Stik players for the past month.”

Nathan Cartman.

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