Non-league football: Points are all that matter from now on says Bower

Guiseley's manager Mark Bower.
Guiseley's manager Mark Bower.
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GUISELEY may have won plaudits in a losing cause at Chorley recently, but Mark Bower would gladly take points above polish tomorrow.

The fifth-placed Lions entertain Garry Flitcroft’s Magpies just two-and-a-half weeks after their narrow 1-0 loss at Victory Park when the Lancastrians claimed a fortituous Vanarama North win.

With the season at the sharp end, the Nethermoor boss is under no illusions that points make prizes with tomorrow’s Roses clash having the look and feel of a play-off game in all but name.

Both combatants are striving to extend their seasons, which has become somewhat of a tradition for Guiseley, seeking to enter the play-off lottery for the fifth successive campaign this term.

But equally, Bower is mindful of the wafer-thin margins of the current table, with his side – who play their game in hand at home to North Ferriby on Tuesday – just a point clear of the side just outside of the play-offs in Tamworth.

On the flip side, Guiseley can leapfrog third-placed Chorley, who have beaten them twice already this term, with victory, with the stakes supremely high tomorrow.

Bower, targeting two home wins against Chorley and Ferriby to rubber-stamp play-off participation at this level for yet another season, said: “It is a big opportunity for us to get in there before the last game of the season and if we can perform like we did against Chorley a few weeks ago and create the chances we did, then I am sure we can win the game.

“But I have got to say I would certainly swap a performance for a result, although we did play well and on another day, could have possibly scored two, three or four goals.

“But credit to them, they took a chance when it came and they have proved they are a very good side.

“At the business end, it’s all about getting the points on board.”

Analysing the current state of play with the table, Bower added: “It’s very tight and on Saturday night, we could be sat third or sixth and we have just got to concentrate on doing our job and getting the right result.

“Both of us want to be in the play-offs and know a win will go a long way towards securing it and regardless of what has gone on before, it is just a big, big game and these are the sort of games you want to be involved in towards the end of the season, games that mean something.

“There’s a lot riding on it and there’s a lot of experience in our dressing room and hopefully that will stand us in good stead for these occasions and will be enough to get us through.”

Ben Parker remains sidelined for Guiseley, although Danny Ellis and Alex Johnson should be in contention.

Harrogate Town play host to second-placed AFC Fylde, while Bradford PA play their fourth game in eight days at home to Worcester City.

In the Conference, ninth-placed FC Halifax play their final home game of the season against Torquay.


ALL ROADS lead to Lincoln Moorlands for Pontefract Collieries, hoping to toast promotion to the NCEL Premier Division with victory at the strugglers tomorrow.

It’s been a story to behold for several Yorkshire sides at Division One level, more especially Colls, who claimed a famous 2-1 derby win at Hemsworth MW in midweek.

Goals from evergreen captain Nigel Danby and Aaron Joseph saw Colls prevail, despite fielding an outfield player in goal all game in Iwan Keeley, with Craig Parry unavailable.

Colls’ high-flying rivals AFC Emley are in derby action at home to Selby Town, while Wayne Benn’s Hemsworth play host to more White Rose opposition in Eccleshill.

Yorkshire Amateur entertain Worsbrough Bridge Athletic, while Knaresborough are at home to Rossington Main.

In the top-flight, it’s been a fantastic new year for Nostell, with Paul Lines’ side having hauled themselves away from trouble in fabulous fashion.

Welfare play host to Bridlington in Crofton tomorrow, while Tadcaster travel to easybeats Retford.

Liversedge visit Staveley, while basement boys Glasshoughton are at home to Heanor.

Garforth, who produced a brave performance in their West Riding County Cup final loss to Bradford Park Avenue at Valley Parade, go to Athersley Rec.

Thackley host Parkgate.


IT PROMISES to be another tense afternoon for Frickley in their Evo-Stik Premier survival quest tomorrow.

The Blues, one point clear of fourth-from-bottom Stamford, head across the Pennines to visit Ramsbottom.

The South Elmsall outfit are entreched in yet another desperate relegation battle, not for the first time with the great escapologists hoping to do it again.

There’s little to play for in the First Division North but pride, with Doodson Sports Cup finalists Farsley seeking to end a six-match winless league streak at home to Kendal Town and find some form ahead of the final.

Harrogate Railway visit high-flying Northwich Victoria, while just a point separates Ossett Albion in 17th and Ossett Town in 18th.

Tomorrow, Albion visit Warrington and Town host Droylsden.

Brighouse head to Prescot and Scarborough welcome Padiham.