Skrill North: Backroom staff pitch in to get Guiseley game on

Jack Rea

Jack Rea

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WHISPER it gently, but Guiseley might just get a home midweek game on this evening.

With the weather appearing to possibly relent for once, the Lions are set fair for just their second game at Nethermoor in 2014 at home to Leamington in a rearranged fixture this evening.

It’s the start of a favourable run of five home matches in six outings, offering Guiseley the perfect opportunity to find some momentum for their hoped-for Skrill North play-off charge.

While the run of postponements had been a major bugbear connected to everyone at Lions, the fact the games have been cancelled hasn’t been for the want of trying, with club officials having worked tirelessly to get the Nethermoor surface ready – often in vain.

Manager Mark Bower, who is remaining philosophical about the situation, said: “We have got a good team who look after the pitch. We’ve a groundsman and several volunteers and we’ve even had Adie Towers, our CEO, has been on the pitch and attempting to get things on.

“I was at the ground on Sunday and from the side, it looked fantastic – there’s plenty of grass on it and it’s really flat.

“But when you get on it, it’s just been the sheer volume of rain which has made it so soft and the water has just sat on top. I am sure it will get a stick over the next few weeks as it is still quite soft and will cut up. But we have got good people at the club who will put it back right after games and ensure it is in the best possible condition for us for the following match.

“But everyone is doing the best they can and we can’t really worry about that and we have to prepare the players that the games are on. If they are, we will do our best, if not, we will just have to train and be ready for the next one.

“Oxford (City) are struggling at the minute with games off and Gloucester are catching up with games. So other teams have had problems.

“There will be some work that goes on in the summer and it’s a similar situation to Harrogate, who had a lot of games called off last year.

“But now they have a fantastic surface and maybe ours will be like that next year.”

Guiseley had to negotiate a poor surface at Histon on Saturday, with the game in Cambridgeshire ending all square at 1-1. A header from Alex Johnson cancelled out Michael Built’s opener and while disappointed that his side couldn’t follow on their fine victory at Brackley with another away win bonus, Bower feels that a haul of four points from two games on the road can provide a decent platform for a run of home matches.

Bower said: “The pitch was only just about playable, but we stepped it up in the second half and had a couple of great chances to go in front, but unfortunately they scored the opening goal.

“Against a team towards the bottom and struggling for confidence, I think if we’d have got our noses in front, we’d have comfortably won the game. But we just got caught on a counter-attack. But I was pleased how we came back.

“If we can have some good home form – which up until the Worcester game, we were showing and have done for the majority of my time in charge - we will certainly have a chance of pushing up and challenging those teams towards the top of the league.

Bower will assess Jack Rea ahead of this evening’s encounter after he suffered a knee injury in training on Thursday.

Gavin Rothery, who suffered a dead leg at the weekend, is also an injury concern, but Bower is hoping he will shrug off the problem to feature.

“Gav is one who wants to play every game and it will certainly need something to stop him playing. Fingers crossed, we will be okay.”

On Rea, he added: “Jack worked really hard to come back from the injury he suffered in early December, so to get another setback is disappointing for him. Hopefully, it will settle down quickly.

“It will be what it is and some of the away games we’ve had recently have been on difficult surfaces and we’ve got to overcome that and do what we need to do to get points.”

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