National League: Guiseley urged to stick together as FC Halifax Town return focus to top priority

Guiseley manager Mark Bower. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Guiseley manager Mark Bower. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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Guiseley manager Mark Bower is urging everyone at the club to stick together while conceding that rival teams will be gunning for them after last weekend’s goal controversy against Braintree.

The 18th-placed Lions placed themselves in the equivalent of the footballing dock following Saturday’s equaliser in the 1-1 National League draw with the Iron, when Ollie Norburn lobbed visiting goalkeeper Tom King following a throw-in – after Braintree had kicked the ball out of play due to injury to a player.

FC Halifax Town boss, Jim Harvey

FC Halifax Town boss, Jim Harvey

The goal stood and despite Braintree expecting to be allowed a walk-in goal, play continued – with many in the non-league fraternity, along with the incensed visitors, rounding on Guiseley for unsporting behaviour.

Lions chairman Phil Rogerson subsequently admitted that the incident was “regrettable” for everyone connected with the club and revealed he was advised by match referee Tom Nield the goal would have to be reported to the Football Association as an exceptional incident.

Bower, for his part, said that while the incident was unfortunate, he and his staff made an honest decision at the time, but acknowledged he and the club must now live with the consequences.

Bower said: “We knew when we made the decision that it was controversial and people will disagree with it. We have got to live with the consequences now and stick together as players and club and put it behind us and concentrate on the games we have got coming up.”

FC Halifax Town manager Jim Harvey insisted on enjoying Wednesday’s FA Trophy victory over Gateshead before turning his attention to today’s trip to Southport.

A penalty shoot-out victory at the International Stadium saw Halifax move into the final four, where they will face Nantwich.

Matty Brown’s winning penalty followed on from an earlier save by Sam Johnson from the spot, as Halifax won 5-4 after a 3-3 draw after 120 minutes.

“There is a long way to go with the league and we’ve got a lot of tough games coming up,” said Harvey. “And that is the priority for us.”

Halifax make the relatively short journey to Southport today, coming up against a side relatively comfortable in mid-table.

The side are out of form though, having only won one of their last eight league games.

Harvey could make changes to the side who played in terrible conditions on Wednesday.

Both Shaquille McDonald and Connor Hughes made good cases for a starting places, with both finding the net to keep the Trophy dream alive.

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