WE are not home and hosed yet.
WE are not home and hosed yet.
That is the message from Guiseley manager Mark Bower ahead of tomorrow’s National League game at Macclesfield Town.
The 18th-placed Lions head into the clash with the Silkmen with spirits high after a priceless league victory over Wrexham, which pulled them five points clear of the drop zone with three games to go – with the win on many levels being the club’s most significant of the campaign.
The accomplished 3-1 triumph arrested an 11-match winless streak at a hugely timely juncture and secured three points at Nethermoor for the first time since November 28.
After Guiseley players were bestowed some rightful acclaim, Bower says it is imperative that they now move on and finish off the job and claim safety, which would arguably represent every bit as big an achievement as promotion last term.
Bower said: “It was just one win and three points and we are working towards another big game on Saturday now.
“We have still to make up for all the opportunities that we missed earlier in the season to get three points, so we still have plenty of work to do.
“Week in, week out, you get strange results and we can’t rely on other teams not picking up points. We have got to take care of our own business.
“The last away performance at Eastleigh was a good one with a very solid and strong performance and we want the same at Macclesfield and are targeting another three points.
“We have put back-to-back wins together on a couple of occasions this season and putting them together at this time of year will hopefully reward ourtravelling fans who have followed us all season.”
A replication of Tuesday’s performance levels against the play-off chasing Red Dragons, when Adam Boyes (2) and Oli Johnson were on the mark in a cherished 3-1 win, would certainly give the Lions every chance of doubling up with another victory at tenth-placed Macc.
Bower was particularly pleased by the accomplished performances across the pitch in every department in a consummate team display and hopes it will provide a template.
He added: “We just didn’t look like a team who hadn’t won for 11 games.
“It was a really good disciplined performance defensively, with some real quality going forward and clinical finishing.
“That hasn’t been the hallmark of our season, but it certainly was on Wednesday. It was a massive three points with the way the other results went.
“In the previous 11 games, we had mainly played really well without getting a win.
“Some people made a headline of that run, but we kept that belief in what we were doing and credit to the lads, they have kept going really well.”
Midweek scorer Johnson is a doubt with a knock, but defenders Adam Lockwood and Danny Hall, who returned to training on Thursday, could be available.
Relegation-threatened FC Halifax Town face the toughest of asks at Cheltenham, seeking a victory to confirm an immediate return to the Football League.
HARROGATE TOWN can secure a play-off berth for the first time under Simon Weaver with a victory over fellow Vanarama North hopefuls Boston United tomorrow at the CNG Stadium.
Should Town get the better of their Lincolnshire opponents, they will stretch out a seven-point advantage which would ensure them a top-five place at the end of the season.
Weaver urged the home faithful to recreate the “cauldron” of support that roared Town towards four second-half goals against Lowestoft Town earlier this month.
“It’s a great test for us,” he said. “They have history of being up in the leagues above but that’s what we want. We want to make history and break new boundaries.
“It’s bound to be an exciting game as they are an exciting team to watch like us.
“Their fans are going to turn up in their numbers so it’s a great challenge for all of us.
“But we have that Kop and that pride in kicking towards it. We have to start the game well and get the fans reacting.”
Jack Emmett (ankle) is an injury worry while Andy Gascoigne and Dom Knowles are recovering from illness.
Tuesday night’s goalless draw at Nuneaton Town maintained a seven-point gap to their opponents, in sixth, and put Town on the verge of a highest finish under their current boss.
But the manager insisted he was sticking to mathematics and not getting ahead of it.
On whether Town had all-but secured their place with Tuesday’s draw, Weaver responded: “We are not quite in that position just yet but we are a step closer by not giving up any ground.”
Town are also involved in the West Riding County Cup final on Tuesday night when they will face National League North rivals Bradford Park Avenue at Bradford City’s Valley Parade.
Elsewhere tomorrow, Bradford Park Avenue welcome Worcester City.
TADCASTER ALBION are hoping that former Leeds United pair Richard Cresswell and Seb Carole can play their part during their strength-sapping run-in.
The Brewers have registered the former Whites duo before the NCEL deadline in a bid to cope with a fixture pile-up at the end of the season.
Taddy already have former Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jonathan Greening on their books, while ex-Leeds and Leicester City defender Matt Heath is the club’s player-assistant manager.
Billy Miller’s side were in NCEL League Cup action against Knaresborough last night and also have seven league fixtures to fit in in the next fortnight, with their season ending at home to Athersley Rec on April 30.
Second-placed Taddy currently trail NCEL Premier leaders Handsworth Parramore – who they beat 5-2 at home last weekend in front of a crowd of just under 650 – by two points, but crucially have two games in hand.
Taddy visit 10th-placed Thackley tomorrow and then head to Pickering Town on Monday and Maltby Main in a triple-header of away fixtures. Pontefract Colls and Liversedge have big matches in the NCEL Premier relegation fight tomorrow at Garforth and Retford respectively.
In the Evo-Stik Premier, Frickley Athletic can leapfrog seventh-placed visitors Barwell with victory.