GUISELEY CAPTAIN Andy Holdsworth admits the Lions are desperate to reward the unstinting support of everyone associated with the club – from backroom staff to supporters – and realise their Conference dream.
The Lions head into tomorrow’s second leg of their Blue Square North semi-final play-off with FC Halifax with the scores deadlocked at 1-1, just as it was 12 months ago when Steve Kittrick’s side drew their first instalment with Nuneaton.
Unfortunately, the Midlanders spoiled that prospective party at Nethermoor by winning the second leg 1-0 after extra time – with Holdsworth and Guiseley praying for better fortune tomorrow.
On what play-off success and promotion would mean, Holdsworth said: “It would be brilliant. Everyone says Guiseley are a little club, but we have come on leaps and bounds over the years and our aim is now to get into the Conference and this is our third chance at it.
“Hopefully, we can do it this time, not just for the players, but the fans who have been brilliant and the people who work so far behind the scenes that everybody doesn’t know. It is about them as well.
“It is a big family and hopefully, we can push towards it.”
Holdsworth is adamant the outcome of the tie is too close to call following the first meeting in Calderdale on Tuesday evening.
But he is sure on one thing, that the winners of the semi will triumph in the final against either Altrincham or Brackley on Saturday week.
Ex-Huddersfield Town star Holdsworth – who locks horns with ex-Terriers team-mate Jon Worthington, in the rival camp with Halifax – added: “I have said all along that whoever wins this tie will go on and win it.
“Both of us are good teams with good players and pace and attacking threat in each time and it is evenly-matched. I am not saying it is a massive advantage, but we are at home and they have to come to us and we have got to sate our stall out and go for a win.
“Tuesday was a tight game and a Yorkshire derby, although I won’t say a lot about the penalty! I think everyone knows our views on that.
“There were the home team with a big crowd behind them, but at the end of the day, we could have won it with Josh Wilson’s chance at the end and we created chances of our own and dug deep and we’d have taken 1-1 before the first leg.”
On claiming the bragging rights ahead of old friend Worthington, he added: “I still keep in touch with Worthy and we respect each other and he is a good friend of mine and hopefully, I will be on the winning team, not him.
Keeping his fingers crossed that the Nethermoor surface will suit his side’s passing game more, Kittrick said: I don’t think anyone has got an advantage.
“If our pitch has got plenty of water on it – and I hope it has – then we can play our passing game like we do and maybe play a bit higher up the pitch and have a bit more success.”