Leamington FC VS Guiseley AFC- Match Preview
The New Windmill Ground’s Mick Brady Stand (Photo by Tim Nunan via Leamington Football Club)

The run-in to the end of the National League North season continues on Saturday when mid-table Leamington host a relegation threatened Guiseley at the New Windmill Ground.

  • Mid-table comforts:

Leamington come into this fixture off the back of a solid point against Hereford, as well as recently making the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup with a 1-0 victory over Burton Albion. The Brakes find themselves unbeaten in their last five home matches, and with the reality of only one team facing the drop this season, they look unlikely to face any trouble as they sit 16th and in the heart of mid-table.

  • A significant occasion:

Long-serving Brakes manager Paul Holleran takes charge of his 600th game for the club on Saturday, and with his side never having beaten Guiseley in nine previous attempts, this seems like the perfect occasion to break that curse.

  • Key player:

A recent acquisition, goalkeeper Callum Hawkins has already proven to be a formidable force between the sticks. Since joining the club on 25th February, Hawkins (22) has conceded only a single goal and has also become a Brakes fan favourite with his crucial saves and excellent distribution, so if Guiseley attack frequently, they may have some problems beating him.

  • Battle-hardened Lions:

West Yorkshire outfit Guiseley arrive in Warwickshire finding themselves embroiled in a relegation battle with their local rivals Farsley Celtic. Managed by the duo of Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill, the Lions have won two of their last six games in the league, with their most recent result being a 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Blyth Spartans, so they have a new wave of momentum heading into this game.

  • Bragging rights:

The Lions and the Brakes last met in October, with goals for the now departed Jordan Thewlis and Lions fan favourite Regan Hutchinson sealing Leamington’s fate in a strong 2-0 win that was Guiseley’s second win of the season and their first since August.

  • Key player:

The Lions possess a number of key names, though one that sticks out is recently returned forward Kaine Felix. Felix (26) has been a mainstay of the Lions’ attack since his arrival in the summer of 2018 and has picked up a number of club and fan accolades along the way. With his recent return from a long-term injury, Felix will be hoping to make a statement and recapture the form that has made him so loved by Lions fans in previous seasons.

  • Final thoughts:

With their recent home form, the Brakes will see this game as a great opportunity to extend this fantastic run, though they’ll meet a Guiseley side with the history books on their side and a real determination to get a result, so this game is sure to provide lots of drama as we progress towards the end of the season.