Guiseley aiming to make more home gains
MOST PEOPLE would be right in surmising that it is probably a good thing that Guiseley are back on home soil against seventh-placed visitors Boreham Wood tomorrow afternoon '“ and not on the road.
MOST PEOPLE would be right in surmising that it is probably a good thing that Guiseley are back on home soil against seventh-placed visitors Boreham Wood tomorrow afternoon – and not on the road.
The lowly Lions are doing it tough on their National League travels, with the winless monkey on their backs in terms of their wait for a long overdue first seasonal away seemingly getting heavier the longer the awayday wait goes on.
All told, Guiseley, who have lost successive games at Barrow and Dover in their last two outings over the past week, are without a win in 11 league matches on their travels in 2016-17 – and have picked up just a solitary point along the way.
Factoring in last season, the statistics are even more grim, with Guiseley’s last away-day victory coming 18 games ago in a 1-0 win at Woking in mid-February.
Home has certainly proved where the heart is in terms of Guiseley keeping their survival fires burning, with 12 of their 13 points this season arriving at Nethermoor, with the hope being of another three tomorrow.
Adam Lockwood was the first to acknowledge that he was left “frustrated and angry” by their latest away reverse, a 3-0 loss at Barrow, even if it slightly flattered the hosts.
But the last thing that either he or experienced assistant Dave Penney will be doing is panicking, with in-house answers currently being sought, while being mindful that Guiseley have not lost that much ground on sides above them.
As it stands, just four points separate the Lions and the side who are one place above the drop zone in Woking, with the bottom four currently containing three Yorkshire clubs in Guiseley, North Ferriby and York City – who host the Lions in a huge game at the bottom on Tuesday evening at Bootham Crescent.
And with winter approaching, it certainly promises to be a time for digging in and holding your nerve.
In that respect, midfielder Will Hatfield believes that the Lions will be thankful of having the experience of Lockwood and Penney to draw upon – with the pair battle-hardened from their long and relatively successful playing days amid the muck and nettles of lower-division football.
Hatfield said: “The new management have helped us become more solid and hopefully we will keep plugging away and we’ll be okay.
“Adam has come in, while Dave is very experienced and straightaway from just meeting him and from the way he has talked to the lads as a group, you can see that.
“The training has been top-drawer and as a team, the set-up is very experienced and the balance is right and they work well with each other and hopefully we can pick up more results over time.”
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver believes that getting his players to “enjoy their football again” will be crucial to ending the club’s seven-match winless run in National League North.
The men from the CNG Stadium are without a league victory since they overcame Gloucester City at the end of September, a sequence of results that has seen them plummet from from second place to 11th in the table.
And after being beaten after conceding late goals in their two most recent matches, Weaver admitted that his charges were “really down”.
“The lads were on the floor after the final whistle at Brackley on Saturday,” he added.
“What we need to do is get them enjoying it again. If we can do that, then I’m confident that the results will follow.
“We all play this game because we like it, so this week in training we’ve been trying to get the spirits up.
“There is no doubt that these players are good enough and have the ability, I think they’re just feeling the pressure of us not having won a league game for some time.”
Town have a break from their league campaign tomorrow when they entertain Salford City in the FA Trophy third qualifying round.
Wayne Brooksby could return from injury for the game, but skipper Danny Ellis will definitely miss out.
Elsewhere, Billy Heath has warned his FC Halifax Town side that a repeat of last Saturday’s performance at Curzon will see them knocked out of the FA Trophy at Matlock tomorrow.
The Shaymen were well below-par in their 4-2 loss last week, with Curzon registering their first home league win of the season, despite finishing the game with eight men.
“If we play that bad again, we’ll lose. It’s as simple as that,” Heath said.
“We can’t keep making that many wrong choices.
“We just didn’t look like we had a lot of energy, which is what we are all about as a team – working hard and closing down the opposition. People were doing uncharacteristic things, but that’s football.
“Just when you think you’re on top of the world it brings you back down to earth. But we need to go on another run now.”
Elsewhere in the FA Trophy, Bradford Park Avenue travel to Stockport and Farsley Celtic host Tamworth.
FOURTH-pLACED Ossett Town could move top of the Evo-Stik League Division One North if they can defeat Droylsden at home and other results go their way tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Tadcaster Albion host sixth-placed Brighouse Town, knowing that a victorywould take them just outside the top six, while struggling Ossett Albion travel to Hyde United.
In the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, fifth-placed Pickering Town will be looking to close in on the teams above them when they host AFC Mansfield. Seventh-placed Liversedge could do likewise if they get the better of lowly Retford United.
Ninth-placed Garforth Town have a tough assignment on their hands with a trip to third-placed Bridlington Town, while Harrogate Railway Athletic who came from behind to claim a 4-4 draw at Albion Sports on Wednesday night are without a game tomorrow.
In Division One, third-placed Pontefract Collieries travel to mid-table Shirebrook Town, fourth-placed AFC Emley – who won at Glasshoughton in midweek – are at Hallam and seventh-placed Knaresborough Town play host to Dronfield Town.
Elsewhere, Glasshoughton Welfare are at home to Teversal, Selby Town host second-placed Grimsby Borough, Yorkshire Amateur entertain Hall Road Rangers and basement-side Nostell Miners Welfare play at Ollerton Town.