Selection headache for Harrogate Town boss Weaver

NADV 1311023AM3 H'gate Town V Oxford City. Adam Mitchell (1311023AM3)
NADV 1311023AM3 H'gate Town V Oxford City. Adam Mitchell (1311023AM3)

Boss Simon Weaver faces a selection dilemma ahead of Saturday’s visit of Worcester City as he looks to cement Town’s winning momentum.

Town entertain second-bottom City at the CNG Stadium on the back of two wins in the space of 72 hours.

Weaver’s men nervously scraped past Oxford City 3-2 last Saturday, with the help of a second-half brace from in-form hitman Liam Hardy and Shane Killock’s header (full report page 83).

Craig Nelthorpe’s late strike then overcame adversaries Bradford Park Avenue 1-0 in the West Riding County Cup.

Weaver played a strong side in the BPA clash, but still made five changes from Saturday’s home win.

With midfielder Adam Bolder returning to form in his two substitute appearances, Weaver admitted it would be tough to select an 11 for the City class.

However, Michael Woods remains sidelined with an inflamed Achilles.

Ashley Worsfold and Shane Killock both need to shake off knocks to be in contention but Leigh Franks will return from suspension.

He said: “All our midfielders bring something different. We will watch them again in training and decide how we set up.

“We have a few selection headaches after the three wins on the bounce.”

“The competition is great.”

Twelvth-placed Town’s four game unbeaten run came after five straight defeats.

And the upturn in results, which has seen them score 10 goals in three and a half games, has pleased the boss.

He added: “We haven’t let the stick get us down and we have responded in the way we should have.

“But we are still nowhere near where we want to be.”

Nelthorpe’s late strike on Monday came after Craig MacGillivray pulled off his first penalty save in a Town shirt.

Weaver’s side set up a quarter-final clash with FC Halifax Town, managed by former gaffer Neil Aspin.

The boss added: “We wanted to keep the momentum going and that’s what we did.

“It was a good battle between two decent sides. We should’ve scored more but a win’s a win.”

MacGillivray replaced Jose De Veiga as Town number one last year, and the latter now plies his trade at struggling Worcester, who lie second-bottom in Skrill North.

City have yet to win on the road this year, and have only scored 12 goals in their 13 league games.

But they have drawn four away games, and Weaver anticipates them to look to frustrate his side and quieten the CNG faithful.

The boss called on the fans to provide a livelier atmosphere than the “anxious and quiet” greeting received against Oxford on Saturday.

He added: “It was a really strange atmosphere on Saturday.

“That sometimes happens in football.

“We have to be grown up and handle any atmosphere.

“You can’t blame the poor first-half performance on that.

“If everyone gets behind us the confidence does transmit through to the players. “

Sunderland loanee Adam Mitchell, a shock signing last Friday, impressed on debut and, alongside fellow winger Cleveland Taylor, earned praise from his new gaffer.

“He has been very good so far,” added Weaver.

“When we changed to 4-3-3 in the last 20 minutes against Bradford Park Avenue, those two were a real handful.”

Town have also been drawn to play BPA at home in the FA Trophy third qualifying round on November 16.