Harrogate Town prepare for Torquay clash

hsb  Knaresborough Town v Harrogate Town. Harrogate Manager Simon Weaver.  (120714M4d)
hsb Knaresborough Town v Harrogate Town. Harrogate Manager Simon Weaver. (120714M4d)

Harrogate Town play League Two side Torquay United on Saturday for a place in the second round of the FA Cup.

The Plainmoor clash is Town’s reward for knocking out Hyde FC in a qualifying round replay on Wednesday night.

The replay was postponed twice because of problems with Town’s pitch before the decision was made to play the tie at Harrogate Railway’s Station View ground.

In 2005, the last time Town reached this stage of the competition, they were knocked out by Torquay in a penalty shootout, when two games could not split the sides.

Manager Simon Weaver says his side should feel no pressure making the long trip south.

He said: “The boys are upbeat about getting through to the first round proper.

“If we go down there and get a draw like they did last time we went, then fantastic.

“I know who the bookies will be backing, but at the same time we shouldn’t get starry-eyed thinking about a replay or the second round.”

Weaver has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game.

He said: “They were maybe a little jaded, playing 120 minutes against Hyde then going to work on Thursday, but when the juices get flowing on Saturday, they will be fine.

“We are up against a full-time team, but we have some fit young lads underpinning it all from the middle of the park.

“The fitness work we did in the summer seems to be paying off.”

The Gulls have won eight out of ten home games this season, losing out only to Championship Leicester, in the Capital One Cup, and Yeovil in the League Trophy Southern Section.

Last weekend, they beat league rivals Morecambe 1-0.

Their top scorer this season is Rene Howe, with ten goals.

Town have struggled for form so far this season, although they did overcome league favourites Brackley 6-1 at home before the pitch troubles began.

The club told the Harrogate Advertiser this week they are planning to insert aggregate material into a 200mm slit in the pitch to help the pitch cope with the high levels of surface water it has faced since its summer installation.

Follow @HarrogateHound for updates throughout the match.

A match report and reaction will be on this website after the game.