Six points should earn us a play-offs place – Bower

Mark Bower
Mark Bower
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GUISELEY BOSS Mark Bower believes six of the best should be enough for the Lions in their quest to nail a Vanarama North play-off spot.

The fifth-placed Nethermoor outfit, with four games left in the regular season, are in derby action tomorrow at Bradford Park Avenue, seeking to consolidate the final play-off position.

Guiseley are three and four points clear of Tamworth and Oxford City respectively, with a game in hand, which represents a strong position with catching third-placed Chorley, who they play next weekend, a do-able mission.

That said, Bower is determined to mind the gap ahead of the teams below Guiseley, not just immediately in front.

Bower, whose side suffered a 2-0 home jolt against Stalybridge on Easter Monday, in a game which saw Danny Hall dismissed, said: “Obviously, we want to finish as high as we possibly can, but we have just got to make sure we get in the play-offs first and foremost.

“Seven points will guarantee it for us, while six should be enough.

“Sometimes, you get funny results like us on Monday and the league has been like that all season. But the best teams bounce back and that’s what we have got to do.

“We have just got to focus on the fact we have a good side and good players and if we play to the best of our ability, we should be in the top five.

“But we’ve got to go and do it. We don’t want to worry too much about other teams.

On paper, 15th-placed Avenue, in West County Cup final action on Wednesday, may have little to play for other than local pride, but Bower is wary given their recent upturn.

Avenue beat Guiseley 2-1 in the reverse fixture at Nethermoor on February 24 and Bower believes John Deacey’s side will be firm promotion contenders next season.

Bower, who says that in hindsight he probably made a mistake in fielding one or two of his injured players over the Easter programme, added: “It will be difficult against Park Avenue. They have obviously picked up a lot over the past few months and spent quite a bit of money, bringing in Simon Ainge and Craig King, who has done really well.

“They are building for next year and have comfortably stayed up after looking in trouble at one point.

“I think they will be a real force to be reckoned with next year, you only have to look at the results they have had recently, allied with what they have brought in.

“But it’s always difficult regardless of what has gone on.

“They beat us at our place and there is incentive to put that right, but the main thing at this stage of the season is three points on the board and securing our place in the top five.

“We have got to put the Stalybridge game out of our system as we had not been on a bad run before that. Hopefully we will be at it.”

Danny Ellis is available, while Gavin Rothery is in contention for a start.

Harrogate Town visit Oxford City and FC Halifax go to leaders Barnet in the Conference.


IT’S been a horror season for NCEL Division One bound easybeats Glasshoughton Welfare, who will be seeking a crumb of comfort with a win at fellow toilers Retford tomorrow.

Elsewhere, fourth-placed Tadcaster Albion visit Albion Sports, with Garforth warming up for their West Riding County Cup final appointment at home to Pickering.

Nostell MW, free from danger and aiming for their fourth straight win go to Heanor. Thackley visit Parkgate.

Three points separate the top three in Division One in what promises to be a fight to the final weekend.

Leaders Pontefract Colls welcome Knaresborough Town, aiming for their fourth consecutive win.

Eccleshill welcome second-placed Clipstone and AFC Emley, in third, go to the side just below them, Shirebrook.

Yorkshire Amateur travel to Selby Town.


OPPORTUNITY knocks for Frickley Athletic, who are desperate not to pass up the chance of claiming three priceless survival points at Evo-Stik Premier strugglers Trafford tomorrow.

The Blues head into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw at Whitby, having been without Jake Stannard, Matty Bloor and Danny South for the clash at the Turnbull Ground.

Frickley occupy the final relegation slot, but are just a point in arrears of Stamford, with a game in hand.

Trafford lie second from bottom and are already relegated, having been thrashed 6-1 at Rushall on Monday.

They have won one home game in a torrid campaign.

Elsewhere in the First Division North, Farsley AFC, fresh from booking a place in the Doodson Sport Cup final against Warrington on April 30, head to Prescot Cables.

After their derby draw, both Ossett sides are in action, with Ossett Town welcoming Burscough, while Ossett Albion hit the road to rock-bottom Padiham.

Albion are currently one place and two points above Town and lie in 17th place in the table.

The Ingfielders do have a game in hand on their town rivals, in their quest to end the season with the Ossett bragging rights.

Brighouse welcome Warrington and Harrogate Railway entertain Radcliffe.