Friendlies give Bower food for thought

Wharfedale Observer: City's Niall Heaton and Guiseley's Wayne Brooskby tussle for possession at Nethermoor City's Niall Heaton and Guiseley's Wayne Brooskby tussle for possession at Nethermoor

THREE games in, Guiseley manager Mark Bower is happy at the way pre-season is shaping up.

The Lions beat Albion Sports 2-0 at Farsley last Thursday before bowing 3-0 at home to Bradford City on Saturday and losing 2-1 at Brighouse Town on Tuesday.

As promised, Guiseley manager Mark Bower gave his outfield players 45 minutes each against Northern Counties East League Premier Division Albion.

The visitors survived two first-half scares before registering a a 2-0 win, courtesy of second-half goals from Wayne Brooksby and Adam Boyes, but Bower confessed: "One or two of our players were surprised by the quality of the opposition.

"They are a well-run club and have decent facilities at Farsley."

First half line-up: Drench, Toulson, Harrison, Hall, Parker, Roberts, Lawlor, Vermeulen, Lee, Forrest, O Johnson.

Second half line-up : Dickinson, Holdsworth, Ellis, Ible, Lowe, Boshell, Stockdill, Porritt, Rothery, Brooksby, Boyes.

The Bantams may have showed their class in front of 1,800 fans last Saturday but Bower felt the 3-0 half-time deficit was a bit harsh.

He said: "Getting used to playing football again having not playing for couple of months, means you soon lose your edge.

"We have been worked really well by a good Bradford side is what we needed but being 3-0 down at half-time was not a fair reflection.

"The first goal was a bit sloppy and the second one had a lucky deflection, but we did well in the second half to keep the score down and had chances of our own too."

Bower added: "You don’t want to work lads too hard in pre-season, so it is important to have some triallists and youngsters in. There was plenty of food for thought."

Lewis Clarkson put City ahead after 12 minutes with a low shot into the corner, and Matty Dolan's sweetly-struck free-kick made it 2-0 before Clarkson pounced again after Guiseley keeper Steve Drench had parried Sam Wright's shot.

The Lions made wholesale changes at the interval and came more into the game in the second half without creating any meaningful openings.

First-half line-up: Drench, Roberts, Parker, Stockdill, Hall, Lowe, Brooksby, Boshell, Boyes, Forrest, Rothery; Subs: Williams, Holdsworth, Ellis, Lawlor, Toulson, Dickinson, Johnson (O), Porritt, Lee, Harrison, Ible

Second half line-up: Drench, Holdsworth, Ellis, Lawlor, Lowe, Roberts, Rothery, Boshell, Brooksby, O Johnson, Williams.

Danny Forrest gave Guiseley the lead in the 34th minute on Tuesday at Brighouse before the hosts won it with second-half goals from Tyson Gay and Ryan Hall.

"I tweaked the formation a bit after the start at Brighouse and it didn't work," admitted Bower, who is gaining a better understanding of his squad with every game as they build up to the Conference North opener at Leamington on Saturday, August 9.

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