23/24 On The Road: Marine

The Lions have a huge chance to show off their play-off credentials when they visit a Marine side this weekend also hoping to end their season in the top five, writes Scott Kelly.

Last Time Out

It was late, but in the end, it was great for the Lions with Gabriel Johnson giving the hosts a superb 1-0 victory over table topping Radcliffe. That meant the Lions have completed the league double over a side who look likely to clinch the league title.

The play-offs are what both sides are aiming for here, and Marine fell 2-1 at fellow play-off chasers Macclesfield. That clash was on 2nd March so the Mariners will be the fresher of the two sides coming into Saturday’s showdown.

Previous Meetings

Guiseley won 4-2 at Nethermoor when the two sides met in October, with a Gabriel Johnson hat-trick setting them well on their way to victory. But they did lose on this ground back in September, when the teams met in the Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round. The Lions fell 3-0 that day.

Guiseley did come out on top the last time they visited this ground in the league though, with a 3-1 victory in March last year and it cannot be understated how much a similar victory would go down a treat here.

The Lions’ Form Book

Gabriel Johnson grabbed his 15th league goal of the season on Saturday and has scored in successive league games for the first time since early November.

The 2-1 loss to Stafford is the Lions only defeat in the last six matches, with respectable three points coming twice against Radcliffe in that time. More routine victories were chalked up against Morpeth, and Atherton with a draw at Ashton included in that.

The Lions have struggled for a bit of consistency throughout the season but have remained in and around the play off places throughout. They need to end the season well though and will hope to make it six wins out of the last eight on the road here.

A Look At Marine

Founded: 1894
Managers: Neil Young
Nickname: The Mariners
Stadium: The Marine Travel Arena, Crosby, Liverpool
Current league position: 4th

Like the Lions, the Mariners have been near the upper echelons of the table for much of the season. Only Radcliffe have enjoyed better home success than that of Saturday’s opponents and they will be looking to keep up their winning habit at home recently. They have won their last three on the bounce at home, which have included 4-0 victories against Stafford and Bradford (Park Avenue) but matched with the Lions decent away form, Saturday’s game could well be interesting.

Finlay Sinclair-Smith, signed last summer from Bamber Bridge, is the club’s top goalscorer with 18 and will be looking to add to that here. The likes of Sol Solomon, Louis White and Bobby Grant are also key contributors with goals. Grant spent much of his career in the football league for the likes of Blackpool, Shrewsbury and Rochdale but now at 33 represents the Mariners after signing from Radcliffe.

Both the Mariners and Guiseley have exactly the same form coming into this one. 19 points from their last 10 matches.

A Look At The Lions

The Lions will be boosted by the return of Kallan Murphy who has sat out the last two matches through suspension.

However, fellow Irishman Leigh Whelan will start his two-game suspension at Marine after picking up 10 yellow cards across the season so far.

Welsh could opt to name the same side that secured that late win over Radcliffe last time out.

Lewis Whitham is edging to a return as he continues working through his rehab plan, but he and Laurence Sorhaindo will sit this one out.

What Are They Saying?

“We needed to win the game. We had to change the shape today. We just had to look after ourselves and we have to try to win as many as we can”.

Boss Andy Welsh is under no illusions what the team need between now and the end of the season – victories. He was delighted with the victory over Radcliffe.

“It was a tight game – they are a great side. They will go on and win the league I have no doubt about it. They could probably argue the draw was the fair result today”.

Welsh was full of praise for the opposition – who look very likely to secure the title. He was pleased with the victory but felt Radcliffe should feel very hard done by that they have ended up leaving Nethermoor with nothing.

“It was a hard grind. We never wanted to settle for the draw. The gaffer made some good substitutions that looked to take us forward in the game”.

Goalscorer Gabriel Johnson was delighted with the victory – and felt the side always had the belief that with the game at 0-0, they always had a chance to take the three points.

“When I am in the moment it just flashes by. I think it was a good leap by Mikey (Michael Afuye), probably the smallest player on the pitch. I just have to say thanks to him”.

Johnson thanked team-mate Michael Afuye for his headed touch which led to his late goal. He also praised the fans support throughout the 90 minutes.

Tickets and Travel for Marine

It is recommended you purchase your tickets online in advance of the game from Marine’s website. There will be no cash turnstiles in operation on the day, but a ticket office will be open before kick-off.

Tickets are priced at:

  • £12 Adults
  • £8 Concessions (65+), Students (18-21) & Youth (16-17)
  • £5 Juniors (11-15)
  • U11s FREE

Matchday programmes will be available at £2.50 each from the sellers dotted around the ground and the Club Shop.

The Lions will wear their all-purple away kit for this fixture.

Coach travel is available with Guiseley AFC Supporters’ Club, just call Paul on 07518 445861 to secure a seat.

The coach leaves Nethermoor at 10:15am priced at £20 for members and £25 for non-members.

Next Up:

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