PAUL COX may still be waiting for his first win and goal as Guiseley manager, but he insists that his glass very much remains half full.
After seeing his side draw 0-0 at home to Eastleigh last weekend, in a game he felt that his side could have easily won, Cox saw the Lions produce a performance of character amid horrendous weather conditions in Tuesday’s night’s return to his former club Barrow – which also ended in a goalless stalemate.
Second-from-bottom Guiseley, four points adrift of Fylde after ten National League games, hit the road again tomorrow when they face a stiff assignment at sixth-placed Wrexham.
But despite his side’s lack of cutting edge – something he plans to address in the coming weeks – he could not be happier with their commitment levels, effort and organisation.
And he is confident that will serve as a platform for the autumn and winter sojourn.
On Saturday’s encounter, Cox said: “They don’t get any easier, do they. But we have laid some nice foundations and there’s more to come from this group of players. I have got some very technically gifted players and I thought that we could have relaxed a bit with the ball (on Tuesday).
“Sometimes, I can come across as a very impatient man. But I don’t want to be like that with this group of players. I think that there is a lot that will come naturally as long as we keep doing the right things and trying to progress.
“First things first, we have kept two clean sheets against two good sides and built strong foundations in looking like a very hard side to beat.
“All we are looking for now is a goal. We need that little bit of luck.
“I am going to need to add to what we have got because, at the minute, we can’t seem to buy a goal. But that will come and I have told the players (that).”
Cox may have been lamenting Guiseley’s lack of a goal on Tuesday night, but he could not have been happier with his side’s attitude in treacherous conditions hardly conducive to football, more especially given that the majority of his troops did a shift at work before donning their boots in Cumbria.
For Cox, it was an enriching, soul-enhancing performance in terms of commitment, with the Guiseley chief also quick to hail the Lions diehards, who he went over to thank personally for making the effort to head to Holker Street in midweek.
Keen to espouse a message of togetherness between his playing staff and supporters, Cox added: “The bigger picture is that the majority of our squad did a shift (on Tuesday) at work and then they came to Barrow and showed an absolutely magnificent mindset. There was a hurricane gale and it was absolutely saturated with rain and I was so proud of the players of the way they performed and worked and there was loads to build on.
“I went over personally to thank the supporters. When you see people travel that far on a Tuesday night – and not just pay hard-earned money, but travel over when severe weather warnings were out - it is magnificent. It was very, very humbling.”
Elsewhere in the National League tomorrow, second-placed FC Halifax Town travel to Dagenham and Redbridge.
Back-to-back away wins may have seen Harrogate Town return to the top of National League North this week, but the club have been hit by another injury blow, writes DAN WOFFENDEN.
With skipper and top scorer Simon Ainge and fellow forward Dominic Knowles already on the treatment table, the man brought into the CNG Stadium to replace them now faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines.
And boss Simon Weaver has lamented a “really big loss” as promising striker Jake Wright, faces 12 weeks out. The Sheffield United loanee suffered ruptured ligaments and a cracked tibia during Town’s 5-1 win at Telford last weekend.
“It’s a bad outcome unfortunately, Jake is going to be out for a good while,” Weaver confirmed. “It’s a really big loss again, with three of our typical number nines all sadly injured at the same time.
“Saying that I think we would have missed them a lot more if we didn’t have Jordan [Thewlis] up there in this kind of form.”
Town host NCE side Penistone Church in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup tomorrow and Weaver is expecting a tough game.
He said: “Penistone have just beaten Whitby Town, who have been a good side for the last two years, so there’s no way we can underestimate them. Games like these are big for our club.”
Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Bradford Park Avenue travel to Southport, while Ossett Town, of the Evo-Stik League, host Atherton Collieries.
In the Evo-Stik Premier Division, Farsley Celtic will look to build on their 3-0 thumping of Grantham Town in midweek as they host pointless Halesowen Town.
Ossett Albion will be looking to pick up their first away win of the campaign as they travel to Bamber Bridge. Albion will have to be up to the challenge as Bridge boss Neil Reynolds will be expecting a response from his team after picking up only a point away at Atherton Collieries in midweek.
Tadcaster Albion will be hoping to put their dissapointing stalemate with Mossley behind them, as they host Colne, who have proved difficult to beat on the road this season.
Meanwhile, in Evo-Stik South, high-flying Frickley Athletic host Gresley FC, hoping to make it three home wins on the bounce.
A big weekend of fixtures approaches in the NCEL Premier Division, with Pickering Town v Hemsworth Miners Welfare being the pick of the bunch.
It’s a real six-pointer as Town hope to build on their comfortable win against Handsworth Parramore in midweek. But, with Hemsowrth winning their last two away games in the league, it doesn’t get much tougher than this.
League leaders Pontefract Collieries will be looking to pull clear as they host Parkgate, who are yet to win on the road this campaign. Garforth Town will look to put the pressure on opposition Rainworth MW after a dramatic 3-2 win at Worksop Town in midweek. Harrogate Railway Athletic host Bottesford Town – a big game at the bottom after Wednesday’s shock defeat to Barton Town. Athletic manager Liam Gray will be hoping Mendes Dionisio can build on his two goals in his last two games to lift them out of trouble.
In Division One, leaders Knaresborough Town travel to Winterton Rangers, with Paul Grimes’ side without a win in their last four games. Yorkshire Amateur’s 8-0 thumping of Retford United came as no surprise, with Daniel Maw grabbing a hat-trick inside 52 minutes. They will be looking to do the same again as they host Worsbrough Bridge Athletic tomorrow.
Campion will be shaping to close in on the top two as they face Glasshoughton Welfare, who have conceded six goals in their last two away league games. Liam Flanagan, meanwhile, has been in fine form in front of goal for Selby Town who play Nostell Miners Welfare.
Nostell seem out to prove something this season underlined by their impressive point against FC Bolsover.
AFC Emley entertain Grimsby Borough and with Thabiso Magida and Emley flying with confidence, this will be a tricky test for the visitors.