Leeds United’s West Yorkshire neighbours Guiseley AFC will travel to Mansfield to take on Mansfield Town later today in what will be a historic match for the Non-League club, as they have progressed to the 2nd round of the FA Cup for the first time.
Mansfield Town are currently in the playoff spots in League Two, as they sit in 7th place, level on points with 6th place Coventry City with 32 points after 20 games. Guiseley, who recently went professional, are currently in the relegation spots in the National League, with 17 points from 21 matches and in 23rd place. Guiseley does, however, have two games in hand on 20th place Leyton Orient who have 21 points from 23 matches.
While it’s a cliche to say that the league positions don’t matter in Cup matches, that might actually be true in this case. For at least one weekend, the Lions can forget about their league form and the nervousness that goes with being in the relegation places in December. This will be the first meeting between the two clubs, and while it might be tempting for Mansfield Town to simply not care about this match, no league team wants to lose out to a non-League team.
Last year featured a remarkable run by a couple of different non-League sides, as Leeds fans are painfully aware. Sutton United made a good run in the FA Cup, including beating Leeds United, but the story was marred by the Sutton United backup goalkeeper’s antics involving a pie.
Lincoln City also made a deep run in the FA Cup last year, as they were the first non-League side to make the quarterfinals in 103 years, ultimately losing to Arsenal after beating Burnley, Ipswich Town, and Brighton & Hove Albion along the way.
Leeds fans have another reason to be interested in this match, as former Leeds manager Steve Evans is currently the manager at Mansfield Town, and as much as Leeds fans might wish their former manager luck, most Leeds fans will be wishing their West Yorkshire neighbours luck in this match-up.
For those with short memories, Guiseley hosted Leeds this past summer in a preseason friendly. Nethermoor Park, where Guiseley play is actually closer to Elland Road (13 miles away) than the Leeds United Training Ground, Thorp Arch, is to Elland Road (22 miles away), showing just how local Guiseley AFC is for Leeds fans.