OPPOSITION FOCUS: GUISELEY AFC

25 Jan 2024 | Latest News

The Silkmen are back on their travels in league action as we make the journey to West Yorkshire to take on Guiseley.

Alex Bruce’s side will be looking to bounce back after Saturday’s defeat at home to Radcliffe.

The Lions of Guiseley will be looking to push on with their promotion push and currently sit just above Macc in the table.

We take a closer look at our opponents from West Yorkshire.

HISTORY 

The club was established in 1909 and initially played in the Wharfedale League. They were league champions in 1912–13, and after World War I the club transferred to the Leeds League. In 1924 they moved leagues again, this time joining the West Riding County Amateur League. They went on to win three consecutive league titles between 1932–33 and 1934–35, before finishing as runners-up in 1937–38 and then winning the league again in 1938–39.

When the league was split into two divisions in 1953, Guiseley became members of Section A. They were runners-up in 1954–55 and won the division in 1955–56. In 1960 they switched back to the Leeds League, joining Division One of the league, now known as the West Yorkshire League. They were Division One champions in their first season, and after finishing as runners-up in 1963–64, they won the league again in 1964–65.

In 1968 Guiseley joined Division Two of the Yorkshire League. League restructuring saw them demoted to Division Three in 1970, but a fourth-place finish in 1970–71 resulted in an immediate promotion back to Division Two. Another fourth-place finish in 1973–74 earned the club promotion to Division One. Although they were relegated at the end of the following season, they won Division Two in 1975–76, earning an immediate promotion back to Division One. The club went on to finish as Division One runners-up in 1979–80 and 1980–81. In 1981 the league merged with the Midland League to form the Northern Counties East League, with Guiseley placed in the Premier Division. 

The late 1980s and early 1990s was another successful period for Guiseley. In 1989–90 they reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase for the first time, losing 4–0 on aggregate to Bridlington Town. They reached the final the following season, beating Gresley Rovers 3–1 in a replay at Bramall Lane after the first match at Wembley had ended in a 4–4 draw. They also won the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, earning promotion to Division One of the Northern Premier League. They had the opportunity to retain the FA Vase in 1992–93 when they reached the final again, but lost 5–3 to Wimborne Town. The season also saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 to Third Division Chester City.

Guiseley reached the second round of the FA Cup for the first time in 2017–18 after defeating Accrington Stanley 4–3 on penalties in a first round replay, before losing 3–0 to Mansfield Town in the second round. They were relegated back to the (renamed) National League North at the end of the season, having finished bottom of the National League. In 2018–19 the club reached the second round of the FA Cup again after beating Cambridge United 4–3 in the first round. They finished bottom of the National League North in 2021–22 and were relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League.

CURRENT FORM

Guiseley have won three of their last five games but have had a lot of disruption as a result of the weather. The Lions last played two weeks ago as they beat Bamber Bridge at Nethermoor Park. Goals from Reece Kendall and Aiden Walker kept Guiseley within touching distance of the play off places. A late defeat at home to Gainsborough preceded this courtesy of an 89th minute winner from Dylan Cogill.

A Kendall goal saw Guiseley pick up all three points away at fellow Yorkshire outfit Bradford (Park Avenue) on New Years Day. A narrow victory against Basford United just before Christmas coupled with a draw against Hyde has kept The Lions within touching distance.

ONE TO WATCH

REECE KENDALL

Reece Kendall has been one of the form men for Andy Welsh’s side. The full-back joined from Spennymoor Town in the summer for his second spell at the club. Kendall provides an attacking threat from full-back scoring in three of The Lions last five games.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

The sides have met on two occasions. The Silkmen secured a 5-1 victory back in November despite going behind early on. Goals from Lewis Fensome, Kane Drummond, Alex Curran, John Rooney and an own goal saw Alex Bruce’s side pick up all three points.

The previous encounter was in the Isuzu FA Trophy last season where a below par Silkmen lost 2-0 at the Leasing.com Stadium.

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