Town face must-win clash at basement side

Andrew Burns of Harrogate Town and Dan Parkinson of Vauxhall Motors duel for the ball.
Andrew Burns of Harrogate Town and Dan Parkinson of Vauxhall Motors duel for the ball.

IT’S a case of one step forward, two back for Harrogate Town at the moment.

After the 6-2 Corby Town demolishing, Simon Weaver’s troops were thrown back into the relegation dogfight on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at home to Vauxhall Motors.

An increased attendance of 450, including former England international Gareth Southgate, turned up for the game, 275 more than against Corby. The figure was equally impressive given that 231 watched Knaresborough play Boroughbridge.

However, Town went home disappointed and Weaver is desperate to regain their confidence again.

Town enter the Badgers’ set at Eastwood Town tomorrow (3pm ko), and the Wetherby Road gaffer is aware they can move 22 points clear of the Nottinghamshire outfit, and eight ahead of Vauxhall if they lose to Gainsborough.

“After hitting the heights against Corby of course it was disappointing to lose on Saturday,” said Weaver.

“Eastwood has always been a good club, but I suppose someone has to be down there. It’s another good opportunity for us to improve our position and we have to grasp it.”

It’s an important week for Town in the quest to cement their place in Blue Square North for another season.

They travel to Nethermoor on Tuesday night at the third time of asking. The two other Guiseley fixtures were wiped out by the weather.

The hosts are currently pulling up trees in their quest to gain promotion to the Conference, and currently sit well-placed in third position.

“It’s a big game for both clubs,” continued Weaver.

“We need to be right on it, otherwise we’re going to be punished.”

Weaver had to shuffle his pack on Saturday, handing debuts to Andrew Burns from Bradford City and Ashley Palmer from Scunthorpe United in defence.

The pair will remain at Wetherby Road for a month.

Club physio Matt Hall-Naylor has been working hard to help reduce Town’s increasing injury list.

However, key defenders Richard Pell and Paul Heckingbottom will miss tomorrow. Jake Picton and Michael Brough face a race against time to make the starting line-up.

Jonny Allan scored Town’s only goal on Saturday after coming off the bench. Weaver will assess his fitness leading up to kick-off.

After Tuesday eight games remain for Weaver and his troops to save their season.

Successive home matches with Workington and Worcester end a busy March for the club.

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