GUISELEY’S FA Cup dream may not extend to a Wembley date, but it certainly does at the start of their FA Trophy adventure this weekend.
The Lions, fresh from earning much Cup kudos after knocking out League Two outfit Cambridge United in the tie of the first-round weekend, switch tack to Trophy business tomorrow with a Roses appointment at Giant Axe where they will be aiming to avoid being chopped down to size by Northern Premier outfit Lancaster City.
One win away from achieving their big FA Cup target of reaching the third round for the first time in their history, the Lions have also set their sights on knockout glory in the Trophy.
Two Lions players in Kingsley James, a Trophy winner with FC Halifax Town in 2015-16, and Andy Halls – who captained losing finalists Macclesfield Town in the following season’s showpiece – have sampled the Wembley experience first hand and it is something that all the club’s current players and staff are desperate for a piece of.
That includes joint-manager Marcus Bignot, even if he does possess his own cherished memory at the home of football. Bignot said: “Kingsley and Andy have been to Wembley and the only time I went was to pick up my England C cap from Pele and Gordon Banks.
“To meet two greats; possibly the best goalkeeper and best footballer ever was a huge honour.
“That is the nearest I have got to the hallowed turf and when you look back on your career and can get an appearance on it as a manager or a player, that is great. It is an opportunity for us.
“From the outset, we said we wanted to get to the third round of the FA Cup and in the FA Trophy, we want to get to the final.
“It is a competition we can win, realistically and the rewards are there for all to see with a Wembley appearance and an opportunity to win silverware.
“We will be doing all we can to get into the next round.”
After producing a spot of giant-killing to see their name in lights after beating Cambridge in a memorable FA Cup upset, Guiseley are keen to ensure that the boot is not on the other foot when they face Lancaster, unbeaten in their past four games.
But the notion of there being extra pressure on the shoulders of Guiseley, whose cup exploits might mean them representing a bit more of a ‘scalp’ tomorrow afternoon, is something that is not concerning Bignot unduly. Handling internal pressure to do well is the sole preoccupation of players and staff, according to Bignot, although due care and attention will be paid to their opponents.
Bignot, whose side ensured there was no cup ‘hangover’ with a strong performance in their recent 1-1 draw with play-off aspirants Spennymoor on their return to National League North duties, added: “For us, the pressure only comes from within in terms of trying to maintain standards and looking to improve all the time.
“We identity what we have done good and what we can do better and you always try and improve what you have not done well.
“The display against Spennymoor was pleasing and we continued with the momentum and performance and all that was missing was for that one point to become three.
“On another day, we would have got the rub of the green with one or two decisions which went against us.
“But if we play like that more often than not, we will definitely pick up three points.”
Scott Garner and Reece Thompson remain on the long-term injury list for the Nethermoor-based side.
Elsewhere, Bradford Park Avenue visit Altrincham.