Non-League Football: Patched-up Lions’ spirit epitomised by Holdsworth

Guiseley's Andy Holdsworth.
Guiseley's Andy Holdsworth.
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MARK BOWER has called on his patched-up Guiseley side to display their durability once again at home to Brackley Town tomorrow (3pm).

Once again, the fifth-placed Lions are not exactly blessed with options for the Nethermoor clash, with striker Liam Dickinson – switched to centre-half in Wednesday’s win over Vanarama North basement boys Hyde – suspended along with Danny Boshell.

Gavin Rothery, Ben Parker and Danny Hall remain sidelined, with Wayne Brooksby, forced off with a knock in the midweek victory, also a doubt.

Alongside the absence of Rothery and potentially Brooksby, the Lions’ creative hub is also diminished without Oli Johnson, although he may be fit enough to take his place on the bench tomorrow with a possibility of being handed a 20-minute cameo.

But despite doing it tough, the Lions are commendably showing their character.

Andy Holdsworth, for example, defied illness to help the side take the points against Hyde.

And Bower hopes that state of affairs continues, along with their stinginess at the back.

He said: “Andy was not well at all against Hyde and soldiered on, while with Dicko playing at the back, it was a bit of a make-shift side and we did what we had to do to win and we need to keep doing that.

“We have four clean sheets from the last six games and the only goals we have conceded have been from set-pieces and we have not conceded a goal from open play in six games, which is pleasing.

“When you are low on bodies and not as fluent as you would like to be, you have got to grind stuff out.

“Ideally, we would have liked six points from the two games against Hyde, but four is not bad and we’ll move on to Brackley.”

Northants-based Brackley, after some highs in recent years, are currently sampling different fare at the other end of the table. But they are renowned for being a physical, strong and direct side that can pose teams problems.

Bower is mindful of the threats they pose. He said: “It will be a completely different game to Hyde.

“They will play in a completely different style.

“And will come here and try and make it difficult and frustrate us and hope to catch us on the break.

“We have got to make sure we are patient and I’d like to think we will get more ball than we had against Hyde.

“If Boyesy (Adam Boyes) can carry on the kind of form he did in putting his chances away like Wednesday, it’s a bonus, while Wayne has been playing well recently and the onus on Nicky Boshell and Alex Johnson, having come into the side, is to keep their shirts.”

Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town, who have their sights set on a top-10 finish to end a difficult season in encouraging fashion, visit Hyde tomorrow.

Sixth-bottom Bradford Park Avenue head to third-from-bottom Stalybridge. It’s a big day for FC Halifax, who welcome Conference leaders Bristol Rovers.


FARSLEY AFC are seeking to start the kick for home at Ossett Albion’s expense in tomorrow’s Evo-Stik North derby at Dimple Wells.

Neil Parsley’s side saw their five-match unbeaten run end in their 1-0 midweek loss at Spennymoor, but with games in hand on several rivals, Farsley remain handily placed for the play-offs.

Farsley welcome fifth-placed Scarborough Athletic in a key home fixture on Tuesday and with a run-in that sees them take on a host of sides below them in the table, their fates are very much in their own hands between now and the end of the season.

Beaten 2-0 at home to Bamber Bridge at Ingfield on Tuesday, Ossett Town face further Red Rose opposition tomorrow in the shape of hosts Lancaster City, while Brighouse welcome Mossley.

Harrogate Railway entertain basement boys Padiham at Station View.

Tomorrow sees Frickley welcome the side who they leapfrogged in midweek, fourth-from-bottom Premier outfit Witton Albion.

The Blues showed considerable character in rallying from a 2-0 deficit in splendid fashion to take a point at Ashton United last time out, thanks to late goals from Gavin Allott (penalty) and an 87th-minute strike from Reece Thompson.

Matty Bloor and John Cyrus are likely to be on the injured list for Blues.


AFTER ending a miserable run of seven straight defeats, Liversedge are hoping to go one better against Thackley tomorrow.

Sedge staged a remarkable late rally to claim a point in a 3-3 midweek draw with Athersley Rec to give them heart for the NCEL Premier battles ahead.

But relegation rivals Nostell still moved above them with a win over Handsworth. They go to Cleethorpes tomorrow.

Shaken Tadcaster, beaten in midweek at Barton Town, visit Pickering and rock-bottom Glasshoughton go to Albion Sports. Garforth host Handsworth.

In Division One, second-placed Pontefract Colls host lowly Grimsby Borough and leaders AFC Emley – who won in midweek like Colls – visit Rossington.

Yorkshire Amateur, 5-4 victors on Tuesday, visit Eccleshill and Selby and Knaresborough entertain Worsbrough Bridge and Louth.