HANGING in there and coming out on the right side of scrappy, tense occasions in the run-in is a pre-requisite of any side in a successful battle against relegation.
And if Tuesday night’s observations are anything to go by, then Guiseley should be well served to achieve that aim.
The Lions’ 1-0 National League win over Barrow may not have won style marks, but points make prizes when you are in a fight at the bottom of the league as Adam Lockwood will vouch for.
After admitting to a few sleepless nights following his side’s surprise 2-1 weekend home reverse to North Ferriby, Lockwood will have been soothed by his sight of his troops drawing upon their remarkable reservoirs of character shown in a sterling rise since mid-autumn.
A further test of resolve and mentality arrives tomorrow in a long trip to fellow strugglers Torquay United, but at least Lockwood should have slept a little bit easier since Tuesday night.
Lockwood said: “We know what we want to do and where we want to be.
“Saturday is another part of that journey and we will prepare the best we can and do the right things and get there and see what we can do to try and come away with a result.
“It gives us a different test and it will not be easy, but we will see how we go.”
Victory on Tuesday – courtesy of Kevan Hurst’s early strike – moved 19th-placed Guiseley three points clear of the drop zone as they drew level on points with the Gulls ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at Plainmoor.
In the reverse fixture at Nethermoor in November, goals from Jordan Preston and Jake Cassidy gave the Lions a 2-0 verdict and they have fared rather well against the Devonians since moving to the National League – and are unbeaten in three matches against them since the start of last term.
While character and recording ugly wins in a key facet of any side who beat off the drop, Guiseley also seem fairly well stocked in another important characteristic too – namely important contributions coming from across their side at timely junctures.
Key contributions from the likes of Hurst, Preston and Jonny Maxted – and a far few others besides – have all helped play their part in big results for the Lions of late and Lockwood is anxious for that to continue –with hopefully another case in point tomorrow afternoon in Devon.
Lockwood said: “There were some great performances (on Tuesday) with the endeavour and amount of blocks and when you see that, you think you have got a chance.
“That is spirit and what we have got in that changing room and that is why when I took over the job that I knew we had got a chance of getting out of the dilemma we are in.
“We have given ourselves a good chance. We have got a lot of work to do and big games coming up.
“Tuesday was not a classic, but we stuck in there and that side of it really pleases me. You have to come out and put performances in like that.”
FRICKLEY ATHLETIC will be looking to put more daylight between themselves and the Evo-Stik League Premier Division drop zone when they host Hednesford tomorrow.
Athletic are currently seven points above the bottom four but a ninth home win of the season would ease their relegation fears.
In Division One North, Farsley Celtic continue their pursuit of leaders Lancaster City with an away trip to Hyde United, while fourth-placed Ossett Town are also on their travels at Bamber Bridge.
Ninth-placed Brighouse Town have a big task on their hands as they travel to table-toppers Lancaster tomorrow while elsewhere in Division One North, Tadcaster Albion host Ramsbottom United and Ossett Albion entertain Colwyn Bay.
In the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, second-placed Pickering Town will be looking to bounce back from their defeat against leaders Cleethorpes Town last week when they travel to play Maltby Main tomorrow.
The Pikes are currently eight points behind Cleethorpes who have an away game at mid-table Bottesford Town.
Eighth-placed Garforth Town face a tricky away trip to Handsworth Parramore while ninth-placed Liversedge host third-from-bottom Parkgate.
Elsewhere, long-serving under-18s manager Ray Green will take charge of Harrogate Railway for the rest of the season following Paul Beesley’s sudden departure from the club last week.
He faces a tough assignment tomorrow as Railway host fourth-placed Thackley.
In Division One, leaders Pontefract Collieries will be targeting another three points when they host Brigg Town tomorrow.
Fresh from their 3-0 midweek NCE League Cup quarter-final victory at Rainworth, second-placed AFC Emley will be hoping to reduce Pontefract’s lead at the top when they host Campion.
Elsewhere in the first division, Knaresborough Town travel to Ollerton Town, Selby Town play at Winterton Rangers and Yorkshire Amateur are away at Eccleshill United.
Glasshoughton Welfare and Nostell Miners Welfare are both without a game this weekend.