Harrogate Town have been anxiously looking over their shoulders for most of the season – and it doesn’t get any easier for them as they return to the EnviroVent stadium with high-flying Northampton Town the visitors on Tuesday evening.
Simon Weaver’s side are four points above the bottom two having played two games more than 23rd placed Crawley Town. Weaver was despondent when facing the media after his side fell 3-0 against a rejuvenated Swindon Town team on Saturday. “They were just gift-wrapped goals” he started. “They’ve not had to work hard for those goals. We were 2-0 down at half-time and still tried to have a go and be aggressive. We had chances to score in the second half, we didn’t convert them and then a farcical goal finished us off”. That was a Swindon side who have now won two on the spin and appear to have finally improved things after the appointment of Jody Morris as manager earlier in the month.
Weaver spoke to the media again earlier this afternoon and seemed optimistic ahead of the game despite the North Yorkshire side being without a home win since Boxing Day. “They (Northampton) are strong, are in contention for promotion and we have to try and stop their rhythm and dig in“ he said.
He also admits that performances lately have been better, despite the club only winning once since the turn of the year. “There were spells in the second half on Saturday where we had spells and opportunities to get back into it but we had a few mad moments that cost us. There can not afford to be a hangover. Three points are at stake and there for us if we apply ourselves well.
Weaver also said that the players remain ‘buoyant’ off the pitch and did not ruling out making changes to his side. He has used an unchanged side in the last three league games and did not rule out a start for Huddersfield Town loanee Danny Grant, who impressed after coming off the bench at Swindon.
Harrogate are also awaiting results of a scan on winger Sam Folarin, with Weaver admitting he missed Saturday’s game due to a back spasm. Mark Oxley is set to continue to deputise for Pete Jamieson in goal.
As for Harrogate’s visitors, Northampton have only won two of their last five games, with both of those victories coming on the road. They sit fourth and only two points separate the Cobblers from 3rd placed Stevenage, and victory here could put them back amongst the automatic promotion places. Louis Appere scored his first goal in nine games in the weekend win at Colchester and could partner top goalscorer Sam Hoskins in attack.
The Cobblers are without Ben Fox, Danny Hylton, Ryan Haynes and Josh Harrop among others for the game. Defender Tyler Magloire was taken off injured during Saturday’s win and it remains to be seen whether he will be fit.
Referee: Thomas Parsons
Location: EnviroVent Stadium, home of Harrogate Town,
Wetherby Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 7SG
Kick off: 7:45pm GMT, Tuesday February 28th.