MARK BOWER has challenged Guiseley to make Nethermoor a House of Pain again for visiting sides at the earliest possible juncture – starting against Gloucester City tomorrow.
Nethermoor had been a lion’s den in more than just name since last winter, that is until Gainsborough Trinity claimed a shock 3-1 victory on Bank Holiday Monday – ending Guiseley’s magnificent run of 13 straight home wins.
That sequence stretched way back to February 9 with the loss just the second in 24 home matches in all competitions under the command of Bower, who celebrates his first anniversary in charge on September 19.
Despite the blow, Bower, who has won 20 of his matches at the Nethermoor helm is keeping a sense of perspective ahead of his third-placed side’s return to Vanarama North home action tomorrow.
Bower said: “We have had an unbelievable record at Nethermoor and if we can get back on that kind of run, that will stand us in good stead.
“I think we had won every home game since Worcester in February.
“It was a phenomenal run and we can’t beat each other up too much and must just make sure Monday was a blip more than anything else.
“We played well in patches and played some decent stuff. But we just gave away bad goals at the wrong time when we were on top and it played into their hands really and allowed them to sit far back and hit us on the counter attack.
“We just weren’t bright enough to break them down when they camped in.
“Teams have done that sort of thing to us in the past and I am sure a few more will do that this season.
“We have got to be good enough to overcome that. The best managers in the business moan about teams ‘parking the bus’ as such.
“But overall, we have not done too bad and it’s a long time since we have not taken three points at home where we have a tremendous record.
“We will look to work on a few things and fine-tune it and get back on track on Saturday.
“Maybe we will have to mix our game up a little bit more than we did on Monday. But we weren’t far away and it was fine margins.
“When you lose, you just want another game. We had a couple of poor results over the weekend, although the 0-0 drew at Fylde –when they won 5-0 two days later – shows it was a decent point.
Defender Danny Lowe is back in training and could take his place in the squad for tomorrow’s game, but Gavin Rothery misses the game through suspension.
Bower, who is envisaging no entry into the transfer market as it stands – with the Lions boss reasonably happy with his squad options – added: “We might just look to mix it up a little bit to try and get more bodies going forward.”
After being rated as one of the bookies favourites for promotion after some eye-catching close-season business, Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town have been handed a reality check.
They currently sit in the relegation positions and are seeking their first league victory of 2014-15 at the sixth time of asking at home to Oxford City at the CNG Stadium tomorrow.
Ryan Kendall could return, while Jake Speight may come into the reckoning in another week.
Fifth-placed Bradford Park Avenue visit Guiseley’s conquerors Gainsborough.
Meanwhile, Neil Aspin’s Conference leaders FC Halifax put their 100 per cent record on the line at Bristol Rovers, relegated from the Football League on the final day of last term.
The Shaymen’s victory over Lincoln on Monday was their fifth league success on the spin and they are three points clear of second-placed Barnet.
The excellent sequence represents the club’s best-ever start to a campaign and surpassed their previous best of four wins from five in Aspin’s first season in 2009
In the Evo-Stik Premier, Frickley visit Nantwich and Whitby host Witton.
AFTER some tireless, devoted work in re-building the club, a money-spinning FA Cup run would be just reward for Garforth Town’s stalwart supporters, writes LEON WOBSCHALL.
That’s the message from boss Graham Nicholas ahead of tomorrow’s derby encounter with visiting Harrogate Railway in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.
The Miners are seeking to emulate the class of 2012-13 and 2011-12, who reached the first qualifying round before bowing out to Blyth and Frickley respectively.
If they get past Rail, then the club’s coffers will be boosted to the tune of £1,925, with cup cash a precious lifeline for the likes of Garforth, knocked out by Shildon at the extra-preliminary round stage 12 months ago.
Nicholas, hoping to welcome back several players who missed the 2-0 leauge loss at Heanor on Monday, said:“We want to progress for the players as they all want it. But also for the club.
“I consider us as a ‘sleeping giant’ and there’s people here who are committed to make the club go forward and any money we receive from the run will be fantastic.
“Last year, we lost 4-1 to Shildon at a time when the squad wasn’t formed and we are aiming to do better this time and we are looking forward to the Harrogate game, definitely.
“Harrogate may be struggling, but they will still be tough opposition.”
Positively bullish about his side’s seasonal aims in the NCEL Premier, he added: “The aim last year was to provide a bit of stability and the aim this year is to win it.
“It might sound a bit ambitious, but there is no point being in it, unless you are going to try and win it.
“Other teams may have bigger budgets, but I believe in the squad I have got is just as good as almost everyone else’s.
“We have had a good start. In terms of the squad, it is coming together and maybe with two or three more players we are still looking to bring in. But I am happy with the ones we’ve got.”
Elsewhere, Garforth’s fellow NCEL side Tadcaster host Spennymoor, with AFC Emley heading to Northwich.
Farsley host Barnsley-based Athersley Rec, while Ossett Albion visit Winterton.
Ossett Town and Brighouse head west to Stockport Sports and West Didsbury and Chorlton respectively, with Goole going to Runcorn.