Guiseley joint-boss Marcus Bignot’s targeting a trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy
THE MEMORIES are still vivid for Guiseley co-manager Marcus Bignot.
He may have had a watching brief when Brackley beat Bromley on penalties in their 2018 FA Trophy showpiece, but his sense of pride was palpable.
Several of the victorious Brackley players used to play under him at old club Solihull Moors and the sight of them enjoying a special day in their careers at the home of football is something that Bignot will not forget.
Guiseley have a number of hurdles to cross to get to anything like that scenario, but it has not stopped them dreaming ahead of their opening foray in the Trophy in 2019-20 at home to AFC Telford in the third qualifying round tomorrow.
Bignot said: “I was there a few seasons ago seeing some ex-players play for Brackley and it is something I would love to do for Guiseley Football Club.
“Quite a few of those Brackley players had won the league with me at Solihull, so it was a good day and I’d like to return there with Guiseley.”
As for his own Trophy history, he added: “It is one that I can do better in. But it is a real opportunity to get to Wembley and many managers and players have not had that opportunity. So it is a chance we are looking forward to.
“To be honest, there is no real financials in it, but it is the prestige and opportunity for players, managers, supporters and the football club in general to play at Wembley.”
Bignot will bump into a familiar face tomorrow in the shape of Telford boss and good friend Gavin Cowan, with the Nethermoor joint-boss also familiar with a number of Bucks players.
Another thing can be taken for granted. Namely that everyone connected with Guiseley will be hankering for a far different outcome than on the last occasion their side faced Telford, with the Shropshire side running out emphatic 4-1 winners in the recent league fixture at the New Bucks Head on October 19 – with Aaron Williams scoring a hat-trick for the hosts.
But Guiseley, who were without the services of top-scorer Aaron Martin on that day, among others, are confident that tomorrow’s game will be a different proposition.
Bignot, who reports no fresh injury concerns, added: “I have got some good ties with Telford and we obviously played against them not long ago.
“We have learned loads from the recent game against them and there were a lot of positives as well.”
Guiseley’s line-up will include an international in loan keeper Marcus Dewhirst, who lined up for England Under-19s in their 4-1 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Guiseley’s home clash with Kidderminster has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 10 (7.45pm).
Elsewhere in the Trophy tomorrow, Farsley Celtic make the trip to Cumbria to face Workington, riding high at the top of the Northern Premier League Division One West.
Adam Lakeland’s side are seeking to hit back after last weekend’s 4-2 home loss to Boston United in the National League North, which saw the Celts chief label his side’s second-half defending as ‘terrible’.
On tomorrow’s game, Lakeland, who has a doubt over Adam Clayton (knee) said: “We did all right in it last year and want to do well again. We let ourselves down in the FA Cup and the players are eager to have a bit of a run. But it is always difficult going to Workington, regardless of what division they are in.
“But it is a good distraction for us and it will not do us any harm.”
Bradford Park Avenue make the long journey to Gloucester.
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver says that his players must be wary of a Chesterfield backlash when the teams meet at the CNG Stadium tomorrow afternoon (3pm).
The Spireites were humbled on their own ground by the National League’s bottom side, Chorley, last time out, going down by a 3-2 scoreline.
“We’ve got be to be braced for a big performance from them and one full of passion,” Weaver said.
“You’d expect that they’ll be looking for a reaction and we know it’s going to be a difficult game.
“They’ll have a big crowd behind them in the Wetherby Road stand as well, and that will only to add to the challenge, but, to be honest, I’m expecting something of a response from our players as well.
“I was disappointed with the outcome at Bromley after we were three goals up and we need to put that right.”
Chesterfield currently sit 18th in the National League standings having won just five of their 20 league games in 2019/20.
They did however come into last season’s corresponding fixture in similarly poor form only to find themselves within seconds of winning 1-0 in North Yorkshire, Aaron Williams salvaging a late point for Town.
Weaver has no fresh injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s clash and Warren Burrell comes back into contention having been forced to sit out last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Bromley after suffering a knock to his head in the recent FA Cup loss to Portsmouth.
Meanwhile, FC Halifax Town manager Pete Wild says he is determined to turn around his side’s home form, starting against Eastleigh tomorrow.
The Shaymen are without a win in five at The Shay, and have won just once in their last seven home outings having won their first four matches on their own patch.
“There’s no shying away from the fact that our home form hasn’t been great,” said Wild. “But we’ve got to address it, stand up to it, we don’t want to hide away from things like that.
“We’re looking to try and put things right against Eastleigh. I think teams approach us differently at home, and we’ve got to find a way to nullify that.”