Boss Bower’s targeting back-to-back victories

Zac Thompson.
Zac Thompson.
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An impressive 1-0 victory over Altrincham on Tuesday night earned Guiseley their first points of the season in the National League.

And manager Mark Bower put his side’s victory down to their fast start.

“We started brilliantly with a lot of vigour and tempo and caused them loads of problems,” he said. “To be totally honest we should have been more than just the one goal up at half-time.”

Rob Atkinson’s powerful header from a Nicky Boshell cross from the right turned out to be the winner despite the hosts spurning a number of chances to put the game to bed.

Zac Thompson was singled out for praise by the Lions’ boss with Bower stating the youngster’s performance was “eye-catching.”

Bower went on to suggest that there won’t be any new signings before the transfer window closes as the Yorkshireman is pleased with the current squad he has assembled.

He added: “We’ve got players coming back from injury and suspension for the game this weekend and in the coming weeks so from my point of view we don’t need to sign anyone else. The players have already shown that they are capable at this level.”

This is Guiseley’s first-ever season in the fifth tier of English football but Bower believes his players are adapting well to the standard. He said: “Obviously the pace of the game is slightly quicker but most notably is the physical stature of some of the players we have come up against, mainly from down South.”

That being said, in the opening two games of the season Bower’s men have competed admirably with their National League counterparts and he feels that if the level of performance can be maintained then the club’s initial aim of reaching 50 points and subsquently safety can definitely be achieved.

“Our first aim is those 50 points,” said Bower. “The sooner we hit that mark the better and then we can try and kick on from there. Who knows where we could end up.”

Competition for places in the squad is ‘fierce’ says a manager whose faith in that in that unit is palpable.

Looking ahead to Guiseley’s fixture tomorrow at home to Kidderminster Harriers, Bower is looking for nothing less than three points.

He said: “We have to show our opponents a lot of respect and credit because they are an established outfit at this level, but we will go into the game wanting and expecting the win.”

Kidderminster have gained only one point from their opening two games but Bower said they were unlucky in both fixtures (a 2-2 draw with Grimsby and last week’s 3-2 defeat to Dover) and will not be taking the test lightly.

The ex-Bradford City man added that now his squad has had a taste of the higher level no one wants to give it up easily.

“The last thing we want is a relegation scrap.

“We are embracing being at this level and we want to consolidate our position in this league.”

A promotion push might be too optimistic for the Lions, but a mid-table finish cannot be out of the question.

Meanwhile, the club is busily improving the ground at Nethermoor after it got the go-ahead to build new spectator terracing on three sides of the ground, as well as a new turnstile and toilets.

“It’s a testament to everyone behind the scenes here,” added Bower, “that we are improving the facilites, the pitch and increasing the capacity.”

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Returning Farsley Celtic to its original name after operating as Farsley AFC since 2010 has been a ‘monumental’ achievement for the club according to team boss Neil Parsley.

Talking ahead of the season opener at home to Kendal Town, Parsley paid tribute to all those who had worked behind the scenes to achieve the name change.

But he also revealed that pre-season had been ‘difficult to say the least’ as the ex-Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Doncaster Rovers man had a limited budget, and with restricted player availability it had been a struggle to bring in new faces.

Parsley, however, is always looking to bring in new players who can add to the current squad, and he could sign “maybe one or two” players before tomorrow’s opener.

Parsley believes that he has given all of his players good minutes in their pre-season friendlies, but, despite this, feels he needs to sign more players before the window shuts.

He said: “I think up front and in the wide areas is where we are looking to add to as we need to replace the goals that left us this summer.”

Gibraltan national Adam Priestley left the club to join Shaw Lane Aquaforce and, despite bringing in Nicky Guest who Parsley claims will score a lot of goals, the manager feels that the youngster will need help in filling Priestley’s sizeable boots.

He added that no real targets have been set for this season other than to better last season’s 12th-place finish.

Parsley warned that the opening three games of the season (Kendal followed by trips to Scarborough Atheltic and Warrington Town) are extremely difficult although his side are looking forward to the challenge.

Elsewhere, Frickley start their Evo-Stik Premier campaign with a home clash with Matlock Town.

And Whitby Town host Stourbridge.

Meanwhile in the First Divison North, Harrogate Railway are at home to Droylsden, Ossett Town host Northwich Victoria, Brighouse Town travel to Trafford, Scarborough kick off away at New Mills and Ossett Albion face a trip to Witton Albion. In the First Division South, Goole will kick off their 2015-16 league campaign at home to South Yorkshire outfit Stocksbridge Park Steels.

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Several sides from the district will be involved in this weekend’s latest preliminary round of qualifying for the Emirates FA Cup.

In the NCEL Premier Divison, Garforth Town will host Morpeth Town. Liversedge, who should be be in high spirits after their home win against Thackley on Tuesday thanks to two goals from Andrew Wood, face a trip to Holker Old Boys.

Tadcaster will travel to Hebburn Town looking to bounce back after they lost to a last-gasp winner to Parkgate on Tuesday. Pontefract Colls are away at Penistone Church, Nostell MW will visit Congleton and Thackley face a trip north to play Durham City.

First Divison sides still in the FA Cup prelimnary rounds are Yorkshire Amateur, Glasshoughton and Hemsworth MW. Amateur travel to Newcastle Benfield off the back of a spectacular 5-4 win on Tuesday against Hall Road Rangers in the NCEL League Cup first round.

Glasshoughton and Hemsworth have home ties against Runcorn Linnets and Armthorpe respectively.

Hemsworth, incidentally, lost 4-3 in the 90th minute to AFC Emley in their league cup clash on Tuesday evening despite twice coming back from losing positions.

Among the Division One league matches this weekend are Selby Town v Grimsby Borough and Eccleshill United v Winterton Rangers.

Adam Crookes.

Guiseley sign up Crookes and Roberts on loan for Christmas period