Town pitch is football fit

hsb  Town v Brackley.  Dave Merris with the ball. (121013M4d)
hsb Town v Brackley. Dave Merris with the ball. (121013M4d)

Harrogate Town insist the CNG pitch will be fit for

football this weekend, enabling the club to put a nightmare winter of call-off disappointment behind it.

The pitch has threatened to derail Town’s bid for Blue Square North promotion glory this season, and, with 13 home league ties scheduled before the end of the season, 10th-placed Town are desperate to get the CNG in shape.

This Saturday, prospective play-off rivals Worcester City are due in town for a 3pm kick-off, the first league game at the CNG since December 15.

Snow is forecast this week, but at the time of writing, contractors, who have been working tirelessly to encourage the pitch to drain, have refused to put covers on the surface.

Simon Weaver told the ‘Advertiser: “By all accounts the match is likely to go ahead.

“The contractors are the experts, and they have not put the covers on. It will need rolling on Friday, but it’s looking positive.”

On facing the high-fliers, Weaver said: “Worcester are one of the strongest teams in the league, they keep the ball really well.”

Worcester lost 3-1 at home to Solihull Moors on Monday, while Town’s match at Halifax Town was postponed an hour before kick-off on Tuesday night.

Halifax boss Neil Aspin said the pitch was the worst it had been all season, and the late call-off was due to a deterioration of the weather in the early evening.

Weaver said: “The referee turned up and said the match couldn’t be played.

“We aren’t going to point the finger at anyone, we have had enough games called off this season. Both sides are busy midweek until April, it probably won’t be played until then.”

The next trial for the CNG pitch will be recovering in time for Tuesday’s 7.45pm kick-off against lowly Droylsden.

The boss said ahead of the game: “The pitch will have to be good enough to deal with both games.

“Droylsden are lacking in confidence but they always have a go. We went there in September and upset them when we won 3-1. We need that sort of performance again.”

Last weekend, Town lost 2-1 at Brackley, Michael Woods scoring in injury time. Defender Alan White was sent off for the second time this season.

His manager said: “Alan will be dealt with in-house. He will miss vital games, which is frustrating for him and the team.”

White’s suspension begins on February 23. Meantime, Dan Clayton has moved short-term to Harrogate Railway.

lFollow @AckrillSport for updates on Saturday’s game.