New Guiseley manager Mark Bower reckons he must have walked under a few ladders recently or accidentally kicked a black cat.

His team played sublime football in the first half of last Saturday’s Skrill North home match against leaders Hednesford Town and could have been leading 4-0 at the interval.

However, it was 0-0 and they went on to lose 2-1. Bower said: “The way we played football in the first half is exactly how I want us to play.

“They couldn’t live with us. We had chance after chance, we hit the post, we hit the bar, their keeper has pulled off a couple of great saves and we missed other chances.

“But that is a lesson in football. If you are not clinical at both ends of the pitch, it doesn’t matter what happens in between.

“It is a hard one to explain and a hard one to take but the fundament-als of what we are trying to do I was happy with because the effort was there and the quality was there, and the player we brought in, Ben Parker, looked good for us.

“It is just a couple of moments in the game where they showed their experience and togetherness from being a winning side last year that has won them the game.”

Hedhesford scored on the hour and after 90 minutes, Michael Burns replying in the sixth minute of stop-page time.

However, Guiseley also had Gavin Rothery sent off for a comment made to an assistant referee – something Bower feels was a follow-on from some of the rough treatment his players had received in the first half.

He said: “The referee (Graham Fyvie) said that Gavin has said something to the linesman, which Gavin says he has done, so we will deal with that in the dressing room.

“That’s not something that we like to see players getting sent off for and we are likely to miss Gavin for several games, and he has to learn from that.”

But Bower added: “The way we played in the first half, they tried everything they possibly could in terms of fouling, hacking us down, targeting some of our influential players on the ball such as Gavin, Wayne Brooksby and Burnsey, and I don’t think we received any help whatsoever.

“The refereee allowed things to go on which certainly shouldn’t have happened, and that contributed to the best team losing the game.”

On the positive side of the ledger, Bower’s team are looking forward to the visit of Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup - a chance to avenge their recent 2-0 league defeat.

Bower said of Saturday’s display against the leaders: “The lads have worked their socks off again for us, and even being down to ten men we have scored and had chances.

“The rub of the green often doesn’t gowith you either when you are down the table.

“We knew they (Hednesford) would come out a different team for the second half because we had been so dominant.

“They changed their formation to almost match us up and try to get on the ball a little bit more.

“The first goal comes from us giving the ball away and being picked off straight away, and once they are in front, then we are chasing the game, and we are almost playing into their hands. But we have a massive game this week.”