Lions will take game to Rovers says boss

Adam Smith
Adam Smith
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Mark Bower has taken inspiration from Guiseley’s impressive display against Grimsby Town although he has called on his side to be more “forward thinking” when Forest Green Rovers visit tomorrow.

Mark Bower has taken inspiration from Guiseley’s impressive display against Grimsby Town although he has called on his side to be more “forward thinking” when Forest Green Rovers visit tomorrow.

A run of two away defeats on the spin was brought to an end by Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the National League’s third-placed side.

That required a more dogged and defensive display from the Nethermoor Park side and complete concentration over the entire 90 minutes.

With a similar challenge on the Lions’ hands at the weekend, with Forest Green second in the division, it would be unsurprising to see Bower’s side set up in a similar way.

However, the Guiseley manager believes there is a requirement for his team to play on the front foot when they are at home, and feels there is reason to think it will work.

“At home we have to be a little bit more forward thinking,” he said.

“Our form at home has been good. Playing against top sides, we have been playing well. I don’t think we will be quite as tentative as we were on Saturday. We have players back and available and fully fit compared to last week.

“The lads who played last week did well as well, so it will be a difficult job to decide. We will certainly look to take the game to Forest Green on Saturday more than we did against Grimsby.

“However, they are second in the league with an outstanding record against teams in the bottom half of the team. We have to take a large portion of the organisation against Grimsby into the game, but look to be a little bit more adventurous.”

Bower has been buoyed by the return to full fitness of the likes of Adam Smith and James Hurst, the duo also joining the Lions permanently this week. Ben Parker and Rob Atkinson have also returned to training, although they are unlikely to be available for tomorrow’s game.

With that in mind, Bower spoke about his recruitment strategy: “I think with Parker and Atkinson coming back in, we are strong defensively.

“We have plenty of options defensively and in midfield we are probably not scoring enough goals this season. If something becomes available for the top end of the pitch, then that would be something that we would be looking at.

“As the window goes on, things change daily. Teams get a player in and that means someone else becomes available. I’m constantly working on it and trying to improve the squad. It’s the top area of the pitch that we are looking to improve if the right person becomes available to improve the squad.”

That thought process explains the return of striker Anthony Dudley on loan from Bury, with Bower clearly getting his way recruitment-wise only a few short hours after making that statement. Dudley was exceptionally impressive in his short spell with the Lions between the end of October and December, scoring five times in seven games.

Elsewhere in the National League, FC Halifax Town will be looking to continue their seven-game undefeated league run when they visit Macclesfield.

Harrogate Town will be hoping to close the three point gap to the play-off places when they visit Hednesford Town, who are 19th in the National League North.


Having celebrated the 30th anniversary of their run to the FA Cup third round earlier this week, Frickley Athletic will have to focus on the here and now when they host Buxton tomorrow, writes Amitai Winehouse.

The visitors could prove a tough test for Athletic, who are 14th, with Buxton seventh in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

However, Frickley may have the benefit of Buxton feeling rusty, with The Silverlands club having seen their tie against Pinxton FC in the Derbyshire Senior Cup called off on Thursday.

Ossett Albion could jump up to third in the First Division North when they visit Mossley, although they will have to hope that Glossop North End are unable to beat Northwich Victoria.

Mossley may represent tough opposition for Albion – the hosts are eighth in the league and have won seven of their 12 home ties this season. However, Albion have been good on the road this campaign, winning seven times themselves.

Farsley Celtic will be looking to climb into the top half of the table when they host New Mills, and will certainly be expecting a victory. New Mills are stranded at the bottom of the table without a single point, having lost every single one of their games thus far this season.

Fellow relegation-threatened side Harrogate Railway Athletic are also in action, visiting Lancaster City, while the team above them in the table, Ossett Town, face Warrington Town. Ossett Town are currently three points clear of Railway.


Tadcaster Albion are starting to rank among football’s more unfortunate clubs, with the weather wreaking havoc with tomorrow’s planned away trip to Maltby Main.

The torrential rain in Yorkshire over the past few days means that Maltby’s pitch is now covered in water, making the game “highly unlikely” to take place.

The Brewers have not had a match since December 19, an unfortunate run considering they are clear at the top of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

Tuesday’s intended game against Parkgate in the League Cup was similarly postponed due to the weather, and it now seems hard to predict when Tadcaster will play again.

The weather is likely to have an impact across the rest of the Premier Division and Division One.

However, no pitch inspections have been announced in advance except for Parkgate’s visit to Brigg Town, with the referee intending to decide whether the match can go ahead at 10am on Saturday.

Pontefract Collieries, 17th in the Premier Division, could firmly clear the relegation zone when they visit Armthorpe Welfare tomorrow, with their opposition still involved in a battle to avoid the drop.

Pontefract have been handed a boost by the addition of former Bradford Park Avenue playmaker Matt James, who joined the club on Monday.

Nostell Miners Welfare have a particularly tough task on their hands tomorrow. Welfare are 18th in the Premier Division and host Bridlington Town, who are third in the division.

Tadcaster will be hoping that their local rivals can do them a favour by keeping Bridlington at bay, as the visitors are only two points away from top spot.

Bottom side Liversedge host Clipstone knowing that a win will lift them out of the relegation spots.

In Division One, league leaders Hemsworth Miners Welfare will be hopeful of continuing their good form by beating 12th-placed Eccleshill United, with Hemsworth aware that a loss could see them cede first place to AFC Mansfield.

Elsewhere, Selby Town host Winterton Rangers in a clash that presents a possible banana skin for the 14th-placed side. Rangers are 21st in the division and have lost their last five games, a record Selby will not be hoping to end.