By Cameron Hogwood
Penalties may end up playing a key part in whether Guiseley manage to stay in the National League.
They prepare to face mid-table Wrexham away from home this week in 22nd place, looking for their third straight league win and having scored a penalty in each of the previous two fixtures.
Michael Rankine’s recent spot kick against Macclesfield Town and Simon Walton’s conversion against Maidstone United two weeks earlier have helped the Yorkshire side to consecutive 2-1 victories in the league.
Adam Bridson, a Guiseley Supporters’ Club committee member, is confident a quick start can help them earn three points but is wary of Wrexham’s defensive capabilities.
He said: “We seem to be winning a lot of penalties lately and are taking advantage of them. If we manage to get an early goal, then we can be fairly solid.”
“They’re similar to us in the fact they don’t score many goals, if they score first they could sit back and prove too resilient to break down.”
Guiseley have also conceded three penalties in their last four games across all competitions, and will need to be stronger defensively against a Wrexham team that is unbeaten in five league games.
The 12th placed hosts also approach the game off the back of a 2-1 win over Boreham Wood in which all three of the goals were scored from the penalty spot.
Wrexham’s John Rooney scored a penalty the last time the two sides met in the league back in August with Guiseley eventually falling to a 3-2 defeat after Paul Rutherford’s 93rd minute strike.
Guiseley fan Bridson is hopeful that the team can build on some good form of late with only five points now separating the bottom seven teams.
He said: “We have been on a good run recently and there’s no reason why that continue. Getting our first away win last week will be a massive boost to the players.”
“Hopefully we can go and win on Saturday but I would take a draw, whilst Wrexham aren’t doing as well as they should be they are on a good run.”
Lions manager Adam Lockwood is happy to see things paying off for his team and believes there is more to come from the players before the end of the season.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I feel like we are getting there a little bit on a lot of things I am trying to put in place and we are growing into it now. But I feel like we have a lot left in us and I think we can keep improving and hopefully we will do and we will work tirelessly to improve and be a lot better. I still feel we can be a lot better than we are.”