Dover Athletic v Guiseley: Chance for Lions to create FA Trophy history

Guiseley  manager Mark Bower.
Guiseley manager Mark Bower.
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Guiseley manager Mark Bower is refusing to let the delayed renovation of Nethermoor Park to distract from footballing matters as his side travel to face Dover.

The Lions have until the end of March to bring their stadium up to National League standard, which includes increasing the capacity to around 4,000.

However, amid a run of nearly three months without a home league fixture, Bower says his focus is on Guiseley remaining in the National League by merit.

He said: “We have not been really affected by it much as players and staff, because we have not been at the ground to see any of the progression.

“If we were playing there every other week, seeing the progression and then it stops, it might play on your mind.

“Because we have not played there since December and no league game since November, you’re a bit detatched from it. It’s a bit bizarre.

“The lads have to concentrate on themselves and performing their roles in the team to get us results. It will be a few weeks before we are back there to see what improvements have been made.”

The trip to Dover Athletic, at 287 miles, is the longest journey Guiseley will make on their run of eight consecutive away matches.

However, Bower will not be complaining if his side manage to progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.

It is an opportunity to create history for the Lions, who can take inspiration from fellow Yorkshire side North Ferriby United, who won the competition last season.

The former Bradford City full-back feels Dover could prove a tough test, with the south coast club eighth in the National League.

“The travelling does take its toll, especially for us with part-time players who have to get time off work to go down to some of these places on a Friday,” he said.