Hatfield: Derby win would be perfect

Will Hatfield
Will Hatfield
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WILL HATFIELD says that Guiseley are eyeing their own version of the ‘Perfect Ten’ at Yorkshire rivals York City tomorrow.

Nine games unbeaten in all competitions, the Lions are seeking to extend their sequence into double figures at Bootham Crescent – while hopefully securing a third successive National League North win into the bargain to continue their climb to the sharp end of the table.

And should the Nethermoor outfit – in 11th place in the table – achieve that feat and stay unbeaten, then the rest of the division are likely to sit up and take notice, according to Hatfield.

The midfielder said: “If we can get something from there and go 10 unbeaten, it is going to put a real statement out there.

“It is a big game and a local derby as such and a good stadium to go and play your football.

“We are all looking forward to it and hopefully will continue what we have been doing for the last four, five, to six weeks now.”

Guiseley head into the game on the back of two comprehensive wins with a 4-0 FA Cup victory at Staveley following a 3-0 league triumph over FC United of Manchester.

After a number of draws in the early part of the season, Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill’s side are cultivating a winning mentality, much to the delight of management, fans and players alike, with confidence burgeoning at Guiseley, currently three places and two points above mid-tablers York.

Hatfield said: “A lot were draws at the start, but now we are turning those into wins and we progressing well.

“We are very satisfied at the moment. Coming into a brand new start to the season with new players, new management, it took a bit to get going.

“But it was always going to be the case and we had to get used to each other as a team and how we are going to play.

“But everything is coming together really well at the moment.

“Everybody knows what they are doing and we have a good squad and that is proved by the amount of injuries we have got and the fact we are still going well.

“It is a good start and we are very satisfied, but it is very early days.”

Meanwhile, Hatfield is quick to pay tribute to the impact made by the club’s new management team, who have lifted the dark clouds from last season, which he admits was a ‘nightmare’ – apart from a late-season upturn in spirit under interim manager Sean St Ledger.

Hatfield, the long-serving player at the club, added: “We suffered last season and it was a nightmare for everybody.

“But that is a fresh start for everybody and the management staff have been amazing so far.

“They have brought in a lot of good players and characters and we are getting good results and it makes the team even closer when you are doing well as well.

“Things are on the up and we have got to keep going. It is a long old season.

“The managers are really good and have their own philosophies on the game and when it comes together, it is great.

“They are doing a great job and they have recruited well, even though it has been tough for them with the transition from last season to this one.

“Credit to them and we just hope we can keep on performing for them and heading in the right direction.”

Mark Bower’s Bradford Park Avenue, impressively positioned in fourth place in the table after a fine start to the season, make the trip to Alfreton Town, two places below them in the table.

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TRAVEL ISSUES may have affected Harrogate Town’s road trips already this season, but there has been little disruption where it matters – on the pitch.

Town suffered a maiden National League defeat last weekend in a 3-0 home reverse to Leyton Orient, yet their unbeaten away sequence at this level remains proudly intact – providing confidence ahead of two lengthy back-to-back trips to Boreham Wood and Ebbsfleet.

Simon Weaver’s side lie in third place after taking just one point in two home games with Orient and Wrexham, with taking something from the midweek game with the Red Dragons being largely down to an inspired performance from keeper James Belshaw.

And Belshaw is hoping to do his bit once again to preserve Harrogate’s impressive run on the road – starting at mid-table Wood.

Belshaw said: “I know it is a lot of travelling and we will travel down there on Friday and now we have two away games in a row.

“We had a couple of nightmare journeys and buses breaking down and traffic and stuff on a Friday. But there is a lot of card games on the bus and banter.

“It is not ideal travelling down on Friday, but we are well rested, looked after and ready to go on the Saturday.

“The togetherness is fantastic at the club and there are no egos and ‘big-time Charlie’s’ here and we all get on. That is credit to the gaffer and his recruitment and the environment that he has created.

“We have not lost away from home and we have played well and picked up points and as the gaffer has said, if you had offered us this position after 13 games, we would have snapped anyone’s hand off.”

Elsewhere in the National League tomorrow 10th-placed FC Halifax Town travel to 17th-placed Bromley.

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Farsley Celtic will be looking to climb up the Evo-Stik Premier, as they welcome struggling Matlock Town to Throstle Nest tommorow, writes BEN WOODCOCK.

After a home defeat against Southport, mid-table Farsley bounced back in midweek with aWest Riding County Cup win over Pontefract Collieries and will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home record against Matlock, who sit second bottom.

Celts top scorer Will Hayhurst will be hoping to add to his four goals so far this season – three of which have come from the penalty spot.

Attention shifts to the FA Trophy for Brighouse Town who make the trip to Glossop North End in an extra preliminary round tie.

Town will head into the cup clash in good spirits after their 3-0 league victory against Frickley.

Elsewhere in the Evo-Stik East, Ossett United entertain Stamford as they look to get back to winning ways after a 1-0 loss at Morpeth last time out.

Ossett’s opponents Stamford will pose a tough test, they registered a 4-0 win at Spalding in their last fixture.

Pontefract continue their search for consistency when they host AFC Mansfield.

Eighth-placed Frickley welcome 14th-placed Gresley this weekend, on the back of two defeats.

Struggling Tadcaster Albion play Stocksbridge Park Steels at the I2I Stadium having suffered a 2-1 away defeat in mid-week at the hands of Marske United.

Pickering Town are currently bottom of the league and host Wisbech Town.

In the Northern Counties East Premier Division, the top two – Hemsworth Miners Welfare and Yorkshire Amateur– travel to Penistone Church and Barton Town respectively. In the chasing pack, Knaresborough Town look to bounce back at Eccleshill after a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to Workington.

Other Premier Division fixtures include Garforth Town’s game at Thackley, and bottom club Harrogate Railway face Handsworth Parramore.

Division One sees away games for Selby at Winterton Rangers and Glasshoughton at Parkgate. High-flying Nostell MW welcome Grimsby Borough and AFC Emley entertain Dronfield Town.