GUISELEY have been here before – just ask Mark Bower.
The Lions’ situation may look parlous ahead of their final game of their maiden campaign in the National League at home to Torquay United, but the Nethermoor chief retains hope.
It specifically relates to events at Chorley’s Victory Park on the momentous date of May 9, 2015, which went down in Guiseley history.
Two-nil behind and seemingly down and out at the interval in their Vanarama North play-off final in the north-west, the indomitable Lions dug deep and produced an astonishing rally to hit three unanswered goals through Adam Boyes, Liam Dickinson and Nicky Boshell to clinch a 3-2 win.
As at half-time on that day almost a year ago, the odds are stacked against the present-day Guiseley, who fell into the bottom four for the first time this season after last weekend’s bitter loss at relegation rivals Boreham Wood.
The Lions have one chance for redemption if they beat the Gulls today (5.30pm), while relying on either Yorkshire rivals FC Halifax slipping up at home to Macclesfield or Wood losing at relegated Welling.
But crucially, Guiseley have a semblance of hope and manager Bower said: “I have spoken with the players this week and it is effectively like half-time at Chorley when we were 2-0 down and with work to do.
“Let’s go and do as much as we possibly can and use that spirit from last year.
“What these lads have done for me in the past few years, when we have had some big games, is really produce and we have one last big game this season and let’s hope they can produce the goods for us again.”
He added: “Fourth-from-bottom has changed week after week and we have got to hope it changes again.
“It is a different pressure now. Halifax go into this week’s game under a different pressure this week and it is exactly the same for Boreham Wood as well and, hopefully, that can affect them and we can get the win we need.
“We will be aware of what is going on at the other grounds, especially late on in the game. If we are drawing and, say, Halifax are losing with a minute to go, then I am not going to be piling every one forward for a corner.
“At a small ground like ours, especially with people so close to you, people will know what is going on.”