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Guiseley wary of FA Cup banana skin
Steve Kittrick has warned his Guiseley side to beware the underdog as they switch to FA Cup action on Saturday.
Guiseley returned to winning ways in midweek – just in time for a game that has both monetary value and kudos.
The FA Cup is a competition that can provide much-needed income for non-League clubs and also puts them on the national stage.
As a Conference North outfit, the Lions come into it at this second qualifying-round stage and they have been drawn against a side from two divisions below on the football pyramid.
Evo-Stik League Division One North outfit Bamber Bridge provide the opposition but Kittrick’s men will be taking nothing for granted as they head to Lancashire.
Memories are still fresh in his mind about what happened last year, when Guiseley bowed out to a side ranked three divisions lower.
“We went up to Ashington and got our fingers burnt,” recalled Kittrick.
This weekend’s hosts are well known to Guiseley from their days in the UniBond League, when the clubs had many meetings.
Time has been good to the Lions since, so they go into the game knowing anything other than a victory would be seen as a huge upset.
Guiseley lie second in Blue Square Bet North, having lost just two of their nine league fixtures while winning the other seven.
Preston-based opponents Bamber Bridge are 15th in their league and have not won at home this season. They have won only one of five starts, banking just four points.
Guiseley streaked away at the start of the season with six straight victories before suffering back-to-back defeats.
But they were back on song in midweek when James Walshaw and former Bantams skipper Mark Bower were on target in a 2-0 derby success against Harrogate Town.
The Lions will be without England C international Stephen Brogan and 19-year-old Conor Branson this weekend.
Both have left Nethermoor, with Brogan joining Conference club Forest Green Rovers and Branson heading for a football scholarship in the United States.
“We said we would let Stephen go if a full-time opportunity came up and one did,” said Kittrick.
In, however, come striker Kevin Holsgrove, 24, from Colwyn Bay, while 17-year-old Zack Dale has been promoted from Guiseley’s Academy.