Town turn to FA Cup matters after tough week

hsb   Lee Elam playing for Harrogate Town against Oxford City.  (120915M4c)
hsb Lee Elam playing for Harrogate Town against Oxford City. (120915M4c)

Harrogate Town enter the FA Cup at the second qualfiying round stage on Saturday, away at Northern League side West Auckland Town (3pm).

It’s been a tough week for Simon Weaver’s troops, who lost 3-1 at home to Oxford City on Saturday before going down 2-0 at derby rivals Guiseley on Tuesday.

Before then, Town had were unbeaten in four, and Weaver has moved quickly to crush any suggestion of mini crisis.

“Guiseley was always going to be tough but it was hardly a drubbing,” he said.

“We’re four points off the play-offs and have had a great start, we just haven’t reached the heights of the previous six games and expectations have shot up.

“It’s certainly not a crisis, it’s a chance to grow and learn.

“How we respond is crucial but there’s certainly no need to worry or think about rejigging.”

Weaver is however looking forward to the FA Cup.

“It’s brilliant for the town,” he said.

“We want to do well, have a good run, get Harrogate’s names up in lights and make the town proud.”

Town then host Bishop’s Stortford in a rearranged league game on Tuesday.

Darren Pond headed Oxford ahead on Saturday before Dave Merris’s 35-yard stunner levelled matters.

Town’s defence seemed hesitant without the suspended Alan White and Oxford’s Declan Benjamin beat ‘keeper Jose Veiga on 25 minutes .

T he same player made it 3-1 after eight minutes after half-time.

Tuesday night at Nethermoore saw goals in either half from James Walshaw and Mark Bower, and Town ‘keeper Veiga knocked unconscious after a boot to the head.

He was taken to hospital but discharged and is expected to return on Saturday for the FA Cup.

Striker Paul Beesley could also return this weekend.

Left back Craig Radcliffe has joined Bradford Park Avenue on a month’s loan.

Meantime Harrogate Railway’s return to form continued on Saturday, as they defeated Bamber Bridge 3-1 at home in the FA Trophy first round.

Billy Miller’s troops went a goal behind ten minutes into the second half, but strikes by Nathan Cartman (66) and Paddy McGuire (72) ensured Railway’s passage to the next round.

The Station View men return under the auspices of the Evo-Stik First Division North on Saturday, with a trip to top ten outfit Cammell Laird. They then visit strugglers GarforthTown on Tuesday.

Railway are currently 16th in the division.