IF GUISELEY require any further reminding of just what National League survival meant for them at the end of last season, inspection of the club’s next three fixtures should provide conclusive proof.
The Lions face a televised West Yorkshire derby at FC Halifax Town tomorrow lunch-time (12.30pm) before hosting Hartlepool United just over 48 hours later – with an away trip to Leyton Orient in store in eight days time.
It is a mouth-watering itinerary as midfielder Will Hatfield acknowledges, ahead of the first instalment against the Shaymen, one of his old clubs.
As the cliché goes when locking horns with an old side, friendships will be put on hold for 90 minutes and despite the added incentive of performing well under the cameras, down-to-earth Hatfield is only interested in points as opposed to extra kudos.
He told the YEP: “It is something to look forward to. It has been a busy schedule at the start of the season and to have a full week to concentrate on Saturday has enabled us to rest our legs and prepare well.
“Halifax will be a good game and atmosphere and the TV cameras will be there. And I am sure we will be all fired up and they will be as well and it will be an exciting game. If we win, it will put us in a good position.
“It is good publicity for the lads and always nice when the cameras are there.
“But once the whistle goes, it is just like any other game and you just focus on playing and forget everything else is going on.
“It is nice when people are watching, but we are just there to get the three points and are focused on performing.
“We then have Hartlepool on Monday and they are a massive club at this level and it doesn’t get any easier for us. We will have to recover well and hopefully we’ll get maximum points.”
On the Shaymen, who, like Guiseley, secured a relieving first league win of the season last weekend, Hatfield added: “I am sure that Halifax will be a strong and well-organised unit.
“From what I have heard, they are a strong, solid team. They are a big club with a big stadium. But every game in this league is tough and we won’t expect anything different on Saturday.
“With a local derby, there will be a bit of an edge and I am sure it will be a good game.
“I was there for two loan spells and signed towards the back end of one season, so I am familiar with the ground and facilities and will have conversations with the staff there.
“It will be good to go back, but I will be looking to get the three points for Guiseley.
“We needed that first win last weekend and it was important that we got it, especially with last season when we went so long without winning. It was nice to get it out of the way. We didn’t play particularly well, but the feeling of scoring in the last minute will hopefully do everyone really good and the confidence will be high.
“We had a few disappointing results and performance early on, so to get over the line with that first win will enable us to kick on. We have that winning feeling again and need to build on it as performances have been a bit up and down.
“We need our performances to be more consistent to get to the high standards that Locky (Adam Lockwood) and Dave (Penney) want from the team.”
New Harrogate Town assistant manager Paul Thirlwell is targeting another healthy haul of points from his side’s National League bank holiday double header.
Eighth-placed Tamworth head to the CNG Stadium tomorrow before second-placed Town travel to newly-promoted Blyth Spartans on Monday.
“We have had a great start but we just want to keep our work going”, Thirlwell said.
“If you lose one game, it can snowball the other way.
“There’s a long way to go, it’s boring to say, but this game can kick you in the teeth quite quickly so we need to keep on going.”
Last time out Harrogate Town defeated Gainsborough Trinity 5-4 with Terry Kennedy heading a dramatic winning goal – a game which tested the nerves of Thirlwell.
He added: “It wasn’t great for the heart or the grey hairs.
“We have been really consistent at both ends of the pitch so far. I don’t think anyone saw a 5-4 coming but it shows that if we’re a little bit off, that’s what can happen.
“It was a game that had a little bit of everything but it’s all about getting wins and not how you get them. Although I’d rather one that was simpler than that.”
Sixteenth-placed Bradford Park Avenue play at AFC Telford United tomorrow before hosting Chorley on Monday.
Second-placed Farsley Celtic will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Premier Division when they host Rushall Olympic tomorrow before travelling to Shaw Lane on Monday.
Celtic could manage only a goalless draw with Lancaster City in midweek but are only a point behind leaders Stafford Rangers.
In Evo-Stik North, Tadcaster Albion host Prescot Cables tomorrow before travelling to face West Yorkshire rivals Brighouse Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
Twelfth-placed Ossett Town play host to the team directly above them in the table, Droylsden tomorrow before they make the short trip to play derby rivals Ossett Town on Monday. Brighouse Town have a trip to AFC Goole tomorrow while bottom-of-the-table Ossett Albion play at Atherton Collieries.
In Evo-Stik South, Frickley Athletic travel to Alvechurch tomorrow and host Chasetown on Monday.
Third-placed Pontefract Collieries face an early test of their Premier Division title credentials when they travel to early leaders Rainworth Miners Welfare tomorrow.
A hat-trick from Christopher Jackson saw Pontefract chalk up a 4-2 midweek victory over Albion Sports while opponents Rainworth picked up an excellent 2-1 victory at Bridlington Town.
Fifth-placed Hemsworth Miners Welfare, who drew 3-3 with Hall Road Rangers in midweek, host Bottesford Town while sixth-placed Garforth Town, who were held 2-2 at Liversedge on Tuesday, travel to Staveley Miners Welfare.
Eleventh-placed Liversedge play at Thackley, 12th-placed Pickering Town travel to bottom-of-the-table Clipstone and 17th-placed Harrogate Railway face a trip to the team two places below them – Hall Road Rangers.
In Division One, leaders Knaresborough Town will be looking to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season when they host East Yorkshire Carnegie tomorrow.
Town won 2-1 at Armthorpe Welfare in midweek thanks to goals from Blaine Hobson and Colin Heath.
Second-placed Yorkshire Amateur host Shirebrook Town while eighth-placed Selby Town, who drew 2-2 at Hallam on Tuesday, play at Armthorpe Welfare and Nostell Miners Welfare travel to Dronfield Town.