WILL HATFIELD will attest to mixed feelings in the coming week.
Suspended for Guiseley’s forthcoming National League North survival games against Hereford and Curzon Ashton he may be, but the rearranging of the home match against the latter on Tuesday will at least mean that his two-match suspension will have been served by the time that the Lions host Yorkshire rivals York City tomorrow week.
In the meantime, the midfielder must watch developments from the sidelines with the relegation-threatened Nethermoor outfit seeking some welcome respite towards the foot of the table, starting at Hereford tomorrow.
The Bulls are currently six points and two places above Guiseley in the table.
Hatfield, whose chances of serving the ban already have been dashed after successive postponements against Curzon and Spennymoor, said: “The last two games being cancelled has held me back a little bit. It has dragged on longer than I thought it would do.
“Luckily, the Curzon game has been rearranged for Tuesday, so I will be missing on Saturday and Tuesday and then hopefully back involved against York on the following Saturday.
“As soon as I saw we were having a Tuesday midweek game, I was secretly delighted as it will have been a long time since my last game.”
For the fourth successive season, Guiseley find themselves in a relegation fight in yet another climatic finale to the season.
In previous happier times, end-of-seasons have revolved around promotion pushes and few can say that it is ever dull being a Lions supporter.
The be-all and end-all this campaign is avoiding a second successive painful relegation with Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill’s men currently one place and three points above the side occupying the final position in the bottom three in FC United of Manchester, with a game in hand on the Red Rebels.
Guiseley’s run without a league victory since New Year’s Day and worrying form at Nethermoor – where they have not picked three points since October 13 – is concerning, but on the flip side, their haul of 12 defeats this season in the joint-lowest in the bottom half of the table, even if the plethora of draws have proved a bugbear.
Hatfield, for one, believes that the Lions have enough in the tank to stay up.
He added: “Performances have been there, but we just need a bit of luck and get a scrappy 1-0 win and I think that will do us the world of good.
“Things have been going against us, with teams scoring goals against us against the run of play. With the situation we are in, it brings us down a bit more than normal.
“But if we scrap a win out, sooner rather than later, I think we will win a few games and stay in the league quite comfortably.
“We have got a good core group of players, but things have gone against us throughout the season. We have maybe drawn half of our games and if you took three of them and turned them into wins, the table would be completely different.
“There are still big games to look forward to and play in. But at Guiseley, we are used to these relegation battles, unfortunately to say that.
“But hopefully, it will put us in good stead for the back end of the end of the season.”
Third-placed Bradford Park Avenue visit Southport tomorrow and 12th-placed York City host Boston United.