23/24 On The Road: Stafford Rangers

The Lions will be hoping to build on an impressive home victory last time out when they visit bottom of the table Stafford Rangers on Saturday, writes Scott Kelly.

Previous Meetings

Guiseley have won the last two meetings between the sides, which included the 2-0 victory back in October, with Gabriel Johnson and Jameel Ible getting on the scoresheet. Prior to the 4-0 victory in February last year, the sides had only met three times previously, with all three games being score draws.

The Lions’ Form Book

The Lions beat Morpeth Town 4-1 last weekend, and it was as convincing as the result sounded. An own goal started things off before Reece Kendall, Ible and Kofi Moore cancelled out a Sam Hodgson equaliser for the visitors. The home form has been something of a concern for Andy Welsh’s side and with Morpeth and Bamber Bridge defeated in two of the last three home matches, the side need to recapture home comforts with fellow play off chasers Worksop Town and champions-elect Radcliffe the next two sides to visit Nethermoor.

For a while now, the side have appeared more confident away. The Lions have lost just twice on the road in the last 12 in the league, with consecutive defeats at FC United of Manchester and Macclesfield being those two defeats. They have also won four of their last five and Saturday’s trip to Staffordshire is an excellent opportunity to add another victory to their impressive away record, with the hosts propping up the NPL table.

A Look At Stafford Rangers

Founded: 1876
Managers: Dave Cooke
Nickname: The Boro/Rangers
Stadium: Marston Road
Current league position: 21st

Rangers are not enjoying their season and actually now sit bottom of the NPL table following the removal of Marske United. They do also sit six points from safety, so they have plenty to play for still in their season. They have lost three consecutive games at home and have not scored a single goal in that time. They are without a victory in 2024 and victories over Matlock and Gainsborough in the back end of 2023 are the only three points they have picked up in the last 12 in the league.

They did pick up a respectable draw at Hyde United last time out though, with Jack Redshaw cancelling out Kaiman Anderson’s goal for Rangers. Anderson is also the club’s top goalscorer with 10 goals.

Their squad does boast some experience, with goalkeeper Cameron Belford now 34 and having league experience in England and Scotland with the likes of Coventry City, Southend

United and Stranraer. Alex-Ray Harvey is a midfielder, who spent some time with the Lions after spells at the likes of Fleetwood Town and Barrow and starting as a trainee at Burnley. Fellow midfielder Joe Willis has played for Walsall and veteran striker Ajay Leitch-Smith has spent time in the EFL, starting at Crewe Alexandra before going on to play for the likes of Port Vale and Morecambe.

Stafford are also the league’s lowest goalscorers, with a measly 28 goals coming from their 29 games played this season.

A Look At The Lions

The Lions could name an unchanged team for the fourth league game on the spin when they make the trip to Stafford.

Jordi Nsaka may be fit enough for a return after being ruled out through injury for the last few weeks.

Lewis Whitham kicked a ball for the first time in months last week, but Saturday’s game will come too soon as the winger continues his rehabilitation programme. Striker Laurence Sorhaindo will also miss out through injury.

What Are They Saying?

“I am probably being over-critical here, but I wanted more goals. I thought we could have had more goals”.

Speaking after the Morpeth victory, boss Andy Welsh was more than happy with the performance but felt his side could have gone to town on a team low on confidence, and alluded to the fact the woodwork was hit ‘two or three times’.

“Daws (Adam Dawson) did really well when he came on. Tonguey (Liam Tongue) came on and did really well as well. I was really pleased with their impact when they came on but as a whole it was really pleasing.”

Welsh was full of praise for every player who put on the shirt, with Liam Tongue, Adam Dawson and Gabriel Johnson all coming off the bench to make an impact too.

“We have said it time and time again regarding this league. If you are not on it and give teams opportunities, they can punish you. If we don’t put the work in, we won’t get the rewards. But if we continue to perform and run at people then we will get opportunities to continue to climb the table.”

Welsh praised Morpeth when looking ahead to the Stafford game, insisting that they were let down by injuries in the squad. Although he sees Saturday’s opponents as a threat, Welsh is fully aware that the Lions need to be at the top of their game if they are to leave Staffordshire with three points.

Tickets and Travel for Stafford Rangers

Tickets will be available to purchase at the turnstiles on the day by cash or card payment or online here.

Tickets are priced at:

  • £13 Adults
  • £8 Concessions (65+)
  • £8 Students (with valid ID)
  • £4 U16s

Seated tickets cost an additional £2 on all categories.

You can pick up a matchday programme priced at £2 each from the turnstiles on the day.

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

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

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