Bower happy with Ossett test

The Lions’ 1-0 win over Ossett Albion on Saturday may not have been the most convincing, but captain Mark Bower was happy with the test it offered him and his team-mates.

Bower, who played the full 90 minutes, told Tom Feaheny it was ideal preparation for some of the tough league fixtures that are to come for Steve Kittrick’s charges.

“It’s the test we wanted during pre-season, their first team put us under pressure during the first-half,” said the 33-year-old, who is approaching his third season at Nethermoor.

“They were difficult conditions for us to play our passing game but it’s the sort of test you get through the season so four weeks before the start of the season it was a really good test for us.”

Both sides made changes at the break, with a number of trialists still keen to impress Kittrick and his management team, and Bower said the visitors coped better with the raft of substitutions.

“They made a lot changes so it changed the dynamic of the game, but we got to grips with the conditions, never looked in any danger and got the goal we probably deserved. This time of year it is about your fitness, and experiencing stuff you’ll get during the season so it was a worthwhile game.

“With difficult pitches and people in your faces, where you’re put under pressure, these are good games for us. Brighouse had a good season in the league last year and Ossett Albion had a great run in the FA Trophy, so they are very good tests for us.”

Bower will be looking to make it third time lucky this season and achieve promotion with the Lions and the former Bradford City skipper is impressed with the calibre of the arrivals at Nethermoor over the summer.

“Hobbo (Craig Hobson) and Marshy (Phil Marsh) are looking good together up front, they have a good partnership and understanding, while Jameel’s come in and he looks very cultured and assured back there so he’s done very well.

“We know Michael Burns and he is a player who we want to get on the ball as he makes things happen. We have had a few trialists in too and they have been impressive as well so we will have to wait and see what Kitty does with them.

“We have been very close the last three seasons (to promotion), we know what the league’s all about and we know it will be difficult. We need a bit of luck along the way, hopefully no one runs away with it and if we can keep our main players injury-free then we have every chance.

“We won’t look too far forward as it’s all about going into that first game in peak fitness.”