Nethermoor will be rocking tomorrow as Guiseley host FC Halifax Town in the second leg of the Blue Square Bet North play-off semi-final but Lions boss Steve Kittrick will be hoping history does not repeat itself.
The Lions have bagged a second successive runners-up spot in the league with a healthy points advantage, meaning they go into the end-of-season extras in the box seat, with home advantage against the side who finished fifth in the table.
It is designed to give an edge to the club that finished higher in the regular season. Last term it did not go according to form though and Guiseley lost the second leg 1-0 at home against Nuneaton Town after a 1-1 draw at the Midlands club.
Kittrick said: “If we have learned anything from last year it is that you have got to win games. That sounds obvious but looking at it from a tactical point of view you have to do whatever it takes to win that game.
“Last season Nuneaton were coming good towards the end of the season, they were on form. But what won it for them was the style of play they adopted on the day. They had a game-plan and they stuck to it and put us out.
“This time will be even more difficult for us. I know we are at home but up against Halifax, who we know well and have played several times already this season, but that makes it even more of a game of tactics and team selections.”
Kittrick added that the first leg had not shaped his thinking on the starting line-up for today’s game, indeed it had thrown up more questions than answers and he was going to delay his final selection until this morning.
From a neutral perspective, rival boss John Deacey is an interested spectator. Bradford Park Avenue missed out on the play-offs after finishing seventh but the manager was at the Shay for Tuesday night’s first-leg stalemate.
Deacey said: “Halifax started really well, then Guiseley came back into it after half-time before Halifax got back on top towards the end.
“It was an even game and the second leg is anybody’s. I think that both play-offs could go to penalties!"