Hamstrung by not being able to select from strength and unable to force the necessary quality out of the players at his disposal Guiseley manager Bobby Davison looked a dispirited man after Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Whitby Town.

A defeat which looks to have virtually consigned his team to relegation.

With just three games left only a miracle will preserve Guiseley's Premier Division status as they slipped to second bottom and the club who took their place, Spennymoor, have two games in hand over them.

Davison said: "If we had battled all season like we have done in the last couple of games then we would not be in the position we are in now. We are battling but we are lacking quality. The commitment is good but when we get free-kicks or corners the quality is not there."

"We have to lift ourselves for these last three games. Talk is cheap. We can talk as much as we like in the dressing room but we have to roll our sleeves up and perform. They are doing half of it by battling but the quality is not there at the moment. They have got it, without doubt, but at the moment it is not showing through."

Stuck for selection with quality players like Andy Williams and Colin Hogarth, the men who would stand out in this situation, still on a lengthy injury list Davison just does not know where to turn. He is just hoping that the faith he has in the lads currently playing will pay off.

"We are too often trying to get in the perfect pass instead of getting the ball in quickly. Free-kicks are being blasted high in the air. The lads have to be confident in their own ability, you have got to trust your ability.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room before games is bubbly. We try to relax them but when they get out on the field they tense up. With pitches drying out at this time of year the ball is going to bobble about but you have to trust your ability," he said.

Davison feels that finishing third last season and being cup finalists has led to Guiseley being set up to be beaten.

"All clubs want to prove a point against us after a good season last time so we have to work just as hard as them. Clubs have all come to take points off us this season. They have wanted to prove a point, perhaps we have not worked hard enough at times to overcome them. Great teams like Manchester United don't get where they are on skill alone, they work tremendously hard as well," he said.

Davison said he was not too happy about Whitby's goal on Saturday. "Their lad was on his own in the box and got a free header. One slip in each of our last two games has cost us the match. We are not supplying the quality to our front two and the chances we have created they have snapped at as they are not relaxed up there. That is why clubs pay a lot of money for strikers who take the one chance in a game they get.

"When we were scoring goals we were also leaking them at the back with the defence not playing well. Now the defence is playing well, the goals have dried up and we make one mistake a game and get punished for it. Today I though Rudi Coleano and Matt Daly were magnificent. Steve Sanders also played well and I only took him off to try different tactics. Tony Agana was not 100 per cent fit but we have few options," said Davison.

Davison must now rally his troops for a visit to Whitby on Saturday, a home game against Emley on Easter Monday and a final trip to Bamber Bridge on April 29.

Their Premier Division status now depends on Spennymoor slipping up in their remaining fixtures against Emley (A), Lancaster City (H), Leigh RMI (H), Runcorn (A) and Marine (H).



This defeat plunged Guiseley deeper into relegation trouble as Spennymoor recorded another win.

Once again Guiseley battled brilliantly but were unable to produce the necessary scoring opportunities and what chances they did have they squandered, especially from place kicks.

In the opening stages only an off-side flag prevented Simon Ireland from getting onto Lee Poole's through ball.

Simon Parke was brought down just outside the area and Matt Daly shrugged Benn Gallagher aside to take the free-kick.

Gallagher's shake of the head said it all as the big defender lashed the ball miles over the bar.

In a crowded penalty area both Daly and Paul Bulgin mishit as they attempted to get to a corner and the ball was scrambled clear.

Whitby threatened in the 29th minute when Danny Key whipped in a free-kick and the ball was deflected for a corner. Daly was then forced to concede another corner before the danger was cleared.

Five minutes before the break James Shutt had to smother at the feet of Jim Dobbin.

In first-half injury time Whitby broke the deadlock when the unmarked Colin Carr Lawton met Graham Williams' curling cross with a looping header.

Guiseley almost levelled in the 52nd minute when Tony Agana hit a low ball into the area and Parke hit a shot on the turn which Dawson did well to turn for a corner.

In an attempt to change things Andy Shuttleworth replaced Steve Sanders in a tactical move and Guiseley applied pressure with the head bandaged Rudi Coleano typifying the spirit needed.

Gallagher hit a 30 yard shot into the arms of Dawson and Guiseley continued to press but were unable to force an equaliser.

l On Saturday Guiseley travel to Whitby Town and on Easter Monday entertain Emley.

The Reserves are at home on Saturday to Lancaster City (3 pm).

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