Guiseley suffered yet more fixture disruption this week but there were some positives to be drawn from another two league postponements.
Last Saturday’s visit to Stalybridge Celtic and Tuesday’s home clash with Gainsborough Trinity were the latest victims of the wet weather and mean the Lions have now played fewer matches than any other team in the Skrill Conference North.
Increasing the backlog of games was not what boss Mark Bower wanted but it did give him a chance to get players back to fitness.
He said: “We have a few coming back from injury and illness. Danny Boshell would have missed the last two games as he has been poorly, while it has also given Jack Rea and Craig Hobson chance to build their fitness.
“Jack has been out since December with an ankle injury but has been training for the last couple of weeks, and Craig is recovering from a groin injury from early January.”
Bower gave both some game-time in last night’s rearranged West Riding County Cup semi-final at Eccleshill United, which Guiseley lost 2-1, when Danny Ellis was also set to serve his one-match suspension.
Unfortunately, Hobson limped off on the stroke of half-time with an ankle knock.
The Lions are hoping to be back in action at home to Leamington on Saturday, with the Guiseley boss optimistic the Nethermoor surface will be fit for the encounter against a side who are two points behind them but have played five games more.
“I’ve become a bit of a weather expert,” he joked. “Hopefully it should not be too bad and we can get the pitch dried out.
“Leamington came up from the league below and, after a sticky start, are having a good season.
“We had a narrow 3-2 win at their place but they are a real threat from set-pieces with some big, physical players.
"All three league games have been called off since we lost to Worcester, and the lads are itching to get out and put things right after that defeat.”
Guiseley also face a trip to North-amptonshire on Tuesday to face fourth-placed Brackley, and Bower added: “It’s never easy playing away in midweek, especially when you are travelling long distances but that is part of being a non-league, part-time player.
“They are one of the sides fancied for promotion but hopefully we can go there on the back of a good result and get some momentum going.”
Guiseley’s postponed game at home to Gainsborough was their ninth call-off since the original date of the fixture on December 28.
Despite the club’s best efforts in preparing the pitch, with volunteers and officials working alongside the regular groundstaff, Bower admitted it was the right decision to call it off.
He said: “There was so much water and the ball wouldn’t bounce or roll. You have to consider the safety of the players and, if it had gone ahead, it would have been a pretty poor standard.”
Guiseley’s trip to Stalybridge has been re-arranged for Wednesday, March 26 (7.45pm).
Meanwhile, the club are holding an open day on Sunday, March 2 (noon-4pm).
The club are not only the base for a successful team in national tier six but also a women’s team in the North East Regional Premier Dvision.
Outside of football, Nethermoor also hold meetings for isolated elderly disabled people, raises money for local good causes alongside Guiseley Lions and promotes a range of out-of-school activities for young people, whicbh range from basketball to dance and drama.
One of the functions of the open day is to allow the public to meet club volunteers and see the club’s plans for their three new stands, additional turnstiles, toilets and catering facilities.