PLAY IT again, Guiseley. That is the message from Lions manager Adam Lockwood, pinning his hopes of his side starting 2017 as they ended the old calendar year against National League title chasers Lincoln City at Sincil Bank tomorrow.
The Nethermoor outfit produced arguably the shock Conference result of the season with a magnificent 2-1 against-the-odds triumph over the Red Imps on Boxing Day in front of a record 2,446 home crowd.
Hero of the hour was midfield man Will Hatfield, who fired a dramatic late winner for the Lions, who were reduced to ten men earlier when Michael Rankine was dismissed and overcame the odds in stunning fashion to inflict a first defeat in 18 games upon Lincoln City –whose previous defeat came on September 24.
After the dust settled following his side’s tremendous win, Lockwood – while minded to acknowledge that his side have extended their unbeaten sequence to six matches in all competitions – is quickly refocusing again ahead of the club’s fourth meeting with the Red Imps already this season – against hosts who will be eyeing a spot of revenge.
Moreso with Guiseley’s win knocking the high-fliers off top spot, with Lockwood conscious of facing opponents who will resemble a wounded animal tomorrow – something also alluded to by Lincoln boss Danny Crowley.
Lockwood, who will be without the services of Rankine, whose controversial dismissal on Boxing Day stuck in his craw and left him feeling immensely disappointed, said: “Lincoln are a very good side and they will be up there at the end of the season without a shadow of a doubt.
“I know a good team when I see one and they are a good side. I asked our lads to test themselves against the best in the division and they did.
“The lads were great in all aspects of the game. All I can do is ask my guys to go out and put together our game plan which we will work hard and do the right things that we have been working hard on since I took over.
“I am seeing that now on a consistent basis. We felt hard done by at Woking last week when something did not drop for us. But the performance levels were the same against Lincoln and that is where I want to get to, week in week out.
“Sometimes, you are going to have off days. But at the minute, we are performing very well and consistently and obviously as a manager that is what you want. For me, it is about performance, no matter who we are playing.”
On his own side claiming a bit of payback, Red Imps manager Crowley added: “I am not one of these people to dwell on defeats because that can waste energy.
“But at the same time you’ve got to keep it close and use it to fuel you.
“Guiseley will be a confident animal, but we’ll be a wounded one. We’ll be really focused and motivated to give a good account of ourselves in front of our own supporters.”
Tomorrow’s game kicks off at 3pm.