Guiseley AFC deserve to be top of the tree - Kittrick

Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick admits he he has to "pinch himself" after seeing his side go into the new year top of Blue Square Bet North – but he insists his side fully deserve their top billing.

Speaking after the Lions 1-0 victory at Hyde United yesterday, Kittrick said: "You have to pinch yourself about where we are and I don't think anyone would have thought we would be top at this stage of the season in their wildest dreams.

"But where we are is a great testament to the lads and everyone else at the club. Teams are playing 4-5-1 against us to try and stop us playing and grind out a point and that is a great tribute to us and the football we play.

"Harrogate did it on Saturday and Hyde today, but we were patient, played our football and got our reward. Hyde is a hard place to go to so I am delighted with the win."

Prolific striker James Walshaw got the Lions' only goal on 52 minutes, when he latched on to Luke Sharry's pass to score, but Kittrick says his side could have won by a bigger margin.

"It was a great finish for the goal, but Wally also chipped the keeper and it was cleared off the line, but we all thought it was in although the assistant was not far enough up with play and they got the decision."

In addition, Joe O'Neill, who got the winner against Harrogate, missed an open goal with a header and Sharry also went close for the leaders.

The former Ossett Town boss, who has led Guiseley to their highest ever position on the football pyramid, says that where they finish in April is all that matters, but is enjoying their lofty position all the same.

"We have brought in nine new players this season and instead of rushing we picked those we thought would do a good job for us and so far that has been proved right.

"We have a good dressing room, the lads like playing good football and it is a happy club at the moment."

The Lions travel to mid-table Corby Town on Saturday looking to keep hold of top spot

Meanwhile, Richard Pell and Graeme Armstrong secured Harrogate Town a first win in four Blue Square Bet North games in the 2-0 victory over Stalybridge Celtic at the CNG Stadium.

The lead arrived midway through the first half in controversial fashion.

Defender Pell's header was held on the line by Ashley Woodhouse, but the Stalybridge keeper failed to hold onto the ball and the assistant referee ruled that the ball had crossed the line.

Harrogate were in control and Armstrong's strike from a corner doubled the score, just after half-time.

Simon Weaver's side could have scored more and striker Lee Ellington was denied late on.

Town, who are 12th in the table, have the chance to record a second consecutive victory when they travel to Eastwood Town on Saturday.