Marcus Day shines as Harrogate Town battle injury crisis

Simon Weaver

Simon Weaver urged his Harrogate Town squad to roll their sleeves up and battle through the injury crisis which has sparked a dip in form.

Town slumped to a fourth consecutive defeat on Tuesday night and dropped out of the National League North play-off places for the first time since August.

JP Pittman will miss Harrogate's game against Darlington

Kidderminster Harriers stole three points from the CNG Stadium following a 2-0 win, which saw Andy Gascoigne red-carded in the first half for Town.

That followed a 2-1 loss at league leaders AFC Fylde at the weekend, on the back of defeats to FC Halifax Town and Chorley.

Weaver’s plans have been disrupted by injuries to key players such as midfielder Lloyd Kerry and topscorer JP Pittman. Kerry faces at least another two months on the sidelines while the boss confirmed Pittman would miss Saturday’s visit of Darlington 1883.

To add to the woes, Ben Parker had an x-ray following Tuesday’s defeat following a turned ankle while Luke Shiels complained about a dead leg.

On the club’s dip in form, Weaver said: “We set off like a train this season but anyone would be hampered by six or seven injuries. We have been here before, it’s cost us three promotions in the last seven years. But that’s life.

“There’s things going off with families in my changing room that are a lot worse. But people are getting on and being honest.

“We will roll our sleeves up. As we have always said, we are going to be relentless in our pursuit of getting the club up.

“We might have 15 injuries in two weeks but we will still get on with it. That’s my character and the club’s character.”

One bright note has been the progression of Marcus Day, who was handed a first league start against AFC Fylde on Saturday. The young striker, who was playing for West Yorkshire League outfit Wetherby Athletic last season, kept his place on Tuesday and was selected ahead of Bradford City loanee Reece Webb-Foster and Chib Chilaka, who was left out of the squad entirely.

Day almost became Town’s hero in the 82nd minute but his half-volley towards an open goal trickled agonisingly wide.

Weaver said: “Some clubs would just get the wallet out again and smash the budget when they get injuries.

“We are trying to do it the right way, like we always have, and you have to promote within at times. A week ago not many people had heard of Marcus Day, but anyone watching that game would have thought he is a real bright spark with a great future ahead of him.”

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