Guiseley + other FA Cup

LIKE every football lover worth his salt, Marcus Bignot counts himself as an incurable FA Cup romantic.

The magic and allure of the Cup briefly enchanted Guiseley last season when they achieved a historic place in the second round of the competition for the first time – losing out to Mansfield Town after beating fellow League Two side Accrington in a memorable penalty shoot-out just over 12 months ago following a round one replay.

Booking their place in the hat with big boys for the third round proper in the new year remains elusive for the Nethermoor outfit – but joint-manager Bignot is dreaming, along with Lions supporters.

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Bignot, whose side welcome League Two outfit Cambridge United on Sunday lunch-time (kick-off 12.45pm) said: “We want to match last year’s feats and then go one better.

“Our ‘FA Cup final’ is that third round – and maybe a tie against one of the big six.

“We have still got that opportunity to keep dreaming and believing and Sunday gives us a chance to achieve and go one step closer to the third round.”

Guiseley face opponents currently languishing in the bottom half of League Two, although Joe Dunne’s U’s are showing signs of turning their season around after a fraught start – having won their last three league matches.

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The Lions, meanwhile, come into the game on the back of a 1-0 National League North loss at lowly Ashton in midweek, although Bignot and fellow co-manager Russ O’Neill were delighted with the display of their side in what they percieved to be an unfortunate set-back.

It was an occasion which saw Guiseley edged out when the hosts took their only worthwhile chance of a game that the visitors dominated, but Bignot would gladly take a similar scenario if it favoured Guiseley at Nethermoor Park on Sunday.

“It is an opportunity and cup football is different,” he added.

We could put in a performance like Ashton and get a result and we certainly would be happy with that – if we got one chance and take it and that happened to be the winner, so be it.

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“We have seen great examples of us playing well and being on the wrong end of results. this season. Yes, we want to play well and win, but you can also win football matches by not playing well, as well.

“We have just got to be that team who finds that little bit of a difference to go and win the game.

“I am sure that in their dressing room, they will be saying that they have better players than us.

“All they have got to be sure of is that they match our work-rate. But I think it is important for us that we stay in the game in terms of the scoreline and while you do that, anything is possible.

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“As long as we stay in the game, we will have an opportunity and we only have to score one more goal than them. We are a hard team to beat and need to take that into the game – and when that chance comes, we have to take it.

“We know we have to score to win the game. The managing of the scoreline and making sure that we stay in the game will be key for us.”

On opponents Cambridge, Bignot added: “I will be getting in touch with Neil Howarth at Macclesfield (assistant manager) and Michael Jolley at Grimsby, whose sides have played them in recent weeks.

“We will do our homework and had them watched against Swindon as well.

“Since the draw was made, we did our due diligence and analysis on them.

“We will fully prepared for the game and more importantly, the players will be as well.”