Chorley v Guiseley: Extra-time blow now driving Guiseley in bid for promotion

Guiseley boss Mark Bower.
Guiseley boss Mark Bower.
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SCARRED by the events of almost a year ago today, Guiseley manager Mark Bower is calling on his side to ‘finish off the job’ at Chorley this afternoon.

Back on May 10, 2014, the Lions suffered the bitter pill of a shattering Conference North play-off final loss in the dying seconds of extra-time at Altrincham.

So you sense that Guiseley players will not require much of a team-talk ahead of today’s game.

If anyone is overdue some luck, it is Guiseley, in their fifth successive play-off campaign and who expect the dressing-room words to be clear and succinct at Victory Park today (3pm).

Bower, who says that what happened at Altrincham was his lowest point in football, said: “I think it has to be in terms of losing so late, it doesn’t get much lower.

“But we have an opportunity to put things right.

“A fair few people doubted us in the semi-final with Fylde and had them down to get through comfortably.

“But we have only done half a job and we have got to finish off the job as we have been here too many times now...

“The disappointment of last year is a driving force.

“I will be reminding the lads about little things such as concentration in the last few seconds and making sure it doesn’t cost us.

“Things like that are a timely reminder to make sure everyone is focused and people are switched on for 90 minutes or 120 minutes. It will certainly make us that little bit stronger from last year.”

For fans and many Lions players alike, play-off disappointments have proved a shared experience over the years.

Up to 800 fans will head across the Pennines today in hope rather than expectation.

Bower is desperate for them and everyone connected with the club to finally have their moment after some considerable anguish in the past.

“We have been before here and had so many defeats in the past and are keen to do it not just for ourselves, but the volunteers and everyone around the club who help make it run. We want to do it for them as well as us.”