Chairman backs Harrogate Railway to maintain play-off form

Harrogate Railway striker Nathan Cartman celebrates (Caught Light Photography)
Harrogate Railway striker Nathan Cartman celebrates (Caught Light Photography)

Harrogate Railway chairman Nigel Corner says supporters are entitled to dream about a historic play-off bid in 2015.

Billy Miller’s Railwaymen marched into fifth spot in the Evo-Stik Northern League First Division North on Sunday when Nathan Cartman’s second-half penalty saw off Salford City 1-0.

More than 400 supporters turned out for Railway’s Fan Day at Station View and the club responded with a deserved win over the promotion hopefuls – owned by five former Manchester United players and billionaire Peter Lim.

The three points lifted Rail’ above east coast side Scarborough Athletic, and put Railway into the play-off places for the first time in Miller’s three-year tenure - despite operating on the second lowest budget in the league.

Corner said: “We are having one of our best seasons ever, what’s not to enjoy about that.

“The first quarter we were a little bit iffy defensively but we haven’t had a problem scoring the goals.

“Billy has sorted the problems out and now we are scoring goals, not conceding and winning games.

“Teams have games in hand. But we have the points on the table. We’ll take it a game as it comes and enjoy the ride.”

Next up for Railway is a trip to Yorkshire play-off rivals Farsley, who beat Miller’s men 4-2 at Station View in August.

They will then tackle another West Yorskhire outfit in Ossett Albion on Saturday, and two wins could take them level on points with second-placed Darlington 1883.

The earlier Farsley defeat gives a timely reminder of how far Railway have come this season, after ending August in the relegation zone.

Asked whether Railway are ready for a promotion tilt, Corner added: “We can make ourselves ready.

“The key is just to enjoy it. We have to make sure we support Billy as much as we can from a back office point of view and give him what he needs when we can.

“We know we can finish in the play-offs, there’s no question about that.

“We are good enough and we have shown that consistently enough against the best teams in the league.

“I think we can finish there, but that’s not saying we will.”

Cartman’s second-half penalty – his 35th goal this season - also continued Railway’s record run of scoring in 32 straight competitive matches as they stretched their unbeaten run to ten matches, including nine victories.

Assistant boss Lee Ashforth said: “We are just on a phenomenal run and we hope it continues.

“For us to win games, we know we have to score goals, and we’re fortunate that we have players in the team that can do that.

“All we can do is keep winnign games and putting points on the board and see where the season takes us. Our feet are firmly on the ground, there are some really good sides in the league, but at the moment we’re matching them.”