Non-League: Four-star Guiseley targeting cup repeat

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver.
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver.
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Guiseley are looking to extend their four-match unbeaten streak with a positive result away at National League North high-flyers Chorley on Saturday.

Whilst Guiseley are one division higher than Chorley in the non-league pyramid, just five places separate the sides when they meet in the FA Trophy first-round tie.

This is the first meeting between the sides since Guiseley, 22nd in the National League, sealed an thrilling 3-2 victory over their opponents to secure promotion via the play-offs in May 2015.

Chorley, currently third in the National League North, will want to erase the bitter memories of that day and progress to the second round, while Adam Lockwood’s side will be keen to avoid an upset.

A run of one win and three draws in all competitions has not prevented Guiseley maintaining an unwanted position among the relegation places.

Cup runs so often inspire a surge up the table in league campaigns, so Guiseley will be looking to follow the same formula.

One new face who may make his debut for the Magpies is defender Elliot Green.

Green has arrived after a spell in Sweden. He was previously on the books at MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps.

The 23-year-old centre-back’s previous clubs closer to home include Eastwood, Stamford, Grantham and Sheffield FC.

Buoyant Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver, meanwhile, described Saturday’s FA Trophy first-round tie at home to Barrow as ‘a free hit’.

Town host the National League high flyers in their first appearance at this stage of the competition since 2010.

After picking up two wins in as many games to end a run of bad form, Town are hoping the produce a shock result in front of a bumper crowd expected at the CNG Stadium.

The Cumbrians sit fifth in the National League, arriving on the back of a 21-game unbeaten run, and Weaver insists his men can go into the game with no pressure on themselves.

“Obviously it’s going to be very tough, but the pressure is completely off us, so it’s a bit of a free hit really,” said Weaver.

“Our ambition is to win the game and there’s no reason why we can’t.

“I know there will be a big crowd and it’s a match that we’re looking forward to.”

Elsewhere in the FA Trophy, Evo-Stik side Farsley Celtic entertain National League strugglers Southport at Throstle Nest (3pm).

Farsley occupy a play off position in the First Division North and will be hoping to cause an upset against a side sitting 20th, just above the relegation zone in the National League.

York City complete the Yorkshire representation in the first round.

And they take a break from their woeful form in the league this season with a home game to mid-table National League North side Worcester City.

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Ossett Town will be hoping to build on their impressive season by coming home with a positive result away at bottom-of-the-league Burscough in the Evo-Stik First Division North.

A victory for fourth-placed Town could propel them into the promotion places but it won’t be a straightforward task against a Burscough side desperate for points after picking up just two wins all season. Billy Miller’s Tadcaster Albion – currently mid-table in 13th – hope to push towards the play-offs by entertaining third-placed Lancaster City, who have picked up 10 points of a possible 12 in their last four games.

The relegation fight continues for Ossett Albion as the second-bottom side hope to halt a three-game winless run at home to fifth-placed Glossop North End. Albion can take inspiration knowing North End have been suffering indifferent form themselves, losing two of their last three games.

In the NCEL Premier Division, third-placed Pickering Town hope to apply further pressure on the top two by picking up three points at home to mid-table Staveley Miners Welfare.

Tenth-placed Garforth Town are hoping to push on from their current mid-table mediocrity at home to Worksop Town, who currently sit three places below them. Seventh-placed Liversedge are trying to boost their own league position by overcoming relegation-threatened Maltby Main at home, while Harrogate Railway Athletic, currently sitting 17th on 22 points, face a tough test away at fifth-placed Handsworth Parramore.

This weekend’s games in the NCEL Division One include Pontefract Collieries in their attempt to break into the automatic promotion spots by overcoming 10th-placed Glasshoughton Welfare away from home.

League-leaders AFC Emley hope to maintain their lead at the top with the intention of seeing off Ollerton Town away. And elsewhere, Knaresborough Town attempt to edge closer to the play-offs by gaining a home victory against relegation threatened Rossington Main.

Guiseley manager Adam Lockwood. PIC: Tony Johnson

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