Guiseley AFC: Kittrick wants summer review for county cup

The West Riding County Cup has come under further scrutiny after Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick launched a second scathing attack on the competition.

The Lions secured passage to the quarter-finals by beating Brighouse 1-0 on Tuesday night.

But, the red card to Danny Ellis and captain Simon Ainge's fifth yellow card of the campaign meant Kittrick walked away fuming as he will lose his two key players for the key clash with Vauxhall Motors on December 28.

Kittrick claims he was forced to play the pair against Brighouse and wants the cup moved to the summer months.

And with attendances at embarrassing levels for all five ties on Tuesday night the Lions boss believes the County FA should take spectators into consideration as well.

"The Brighouse game became a farce," he said.

"I couldn't even play (assistant manager) Chris Holland because he hasn't kicked a ball all season – even though he has been with us for a year.

"The rules are preposterous.

"I've said it before that the County Cup should be played in pre-season – they are devaluing their premier competition.

"There were not many there and we probably lost money because it is a stupid time to play these games, especially with Christmas coming up and the Champions League on the telly.

"If it's in the summer, we will play against good sides and there will be better performances because players will want to impress their

manager.

"It would be played on a sunny evening when everyone is looking forward to the football starting again rather on a Tuesday night in winter when it's minus two – it's not fair."

Guiseley are due to host Stafford Rangers tomorrow, though a pitch inspection will be held at 9am because of anticipated snowfall.

Struggling Stafford are managed by former England international goalkeeper Tim Flowers and though Kittrick would be forgiven for expecting three points, he's taking nothing for granted.

"We are hopeful, but we've been expecting snow," he said.

"If we do play, we do and we've prepared as normal.

"Stafford have a new gaffer in Tim Flowers and will be looking to turn the corner.

"But they've got to come over to our backyard to get a result.

"We just need to keep the momentum, but there are no easy games at this level and they will have players looking to impress the new manager."

Meanwhile, Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver is preparing to swing his axe on his under-achieving players.

Tuesday night's disappointing West Riding Cup exit at lower league Goole has persuaded Weaver to throw down the gauntlet to his troops to either shape up or ship out.

The 2-0 defeat was Town's fifth in seven games and has compelled Weaver to issue last warnings.

"The players are playing for their futures," he said. "It's a big period for us and a tough one over Christmas which will decide whether we will compete for a top 10 place or be scrapping it out at the bottom.

"It's up to the players and if they don't rise to the challenge I will get rid of them – I have to be ruthless if they don't get the results.

"We were unlucky at Hyde and Blyth and then against Telford last week but I'm sick and tired of being unlucky.

"I will do whatever it takes to get the results."