Guiseley’s increasingly congested Blue Square Bet North fixture schedule got even worse this week when both of their games, against Harrogate Town and Halifax, were postponed.

An “appalling” pitch at the CNG stadium meant no play was possible on Saturday whilst Halifax’s FA Trophy replay against Dartford scuppered Tuesday night’s fixture and left Guiseley without a game in over a week.

Manager Steve Kittrick said: “It’s disappointing that we haven’t played but the pitch on Saturday was horrendous.

“It would have been danger- ous for me to send my players out there. It certainly doesn’t help the fixture congestion and as we’ve seen before, it can come back to bite you.”

Kittrick is referring to last season when Guiseley had to play nine games during April, including a West Riding County Cup final, before going into the play-offs.

The Lions proceeded to exit at the first hurdle to an in-form Nuneaton side, who went on to gain promotion.

The Guiseley boss is keen to make it third time lucky this year: “We’ve been in the play-offs twice now so hopefully we’ve learned from that and if we have to go through it again this year we’ll be more prepared.”

With the increasingly busy schedule in mind, Kittrick last week announced a double signing. 26-year-old striker Phil Marsh joined from Forest Green Rovers and 21-year-old l Continued – page 50 midfielder Jake Lawlor comes from Harrogate Railway. Both players started their careers at Manchester United and Kittrick will be hoping they can boost a squad still harboring ambitions of winning the league.

“We’ve got two very good players here, strengthening the squad is important with the fixtures we have coming up so I’m pleased we have them. More competition for places is a good thing as it puts players under pressure to perform. I think these signings will have a positive effect on the whole squad,” said the recently named Manager of the Month.

Whilst Kittrick was quick to play down the significance of his own award, suggesting it should instead go to the team, he praised fellow award winner Josh Wilson. Four goals in the league during January secured the Player of the Month award for Wilson and Kittrick said: “He’s found his feet now, it can be difficult when you move clubs but he’s a good player. He’s settled down and knows his game well, he’ll certainly be a very important player for us moving forward.”

Guiseley play Boston United at home and Gloucester away in the next week and Kittrick is mindful of the challenges both will present: “It’s certainly not going to be easy, there’s nothing given in football and we’ve got to perform. We respect every team we play and we know it’s going to be a tough fight.

“If we go out and do our job right we’ll win games so that’s what we’ve got to do. We know that Chester played at the weekend and drew so we’ve just got to keep picking up points.”