Harrogate Railway chief pleased at end of chairman instability

Lee Ashforth
Lee Ashforth
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Relieved Harrogate Railway boss Lee Ashforth says the club can focus solely on survival now the club’s chairmanship dilemma has been sorted out.

Ashforth admitted not having a fixed chairman in place during the early days to his reign had been unsettling to the club.

Harrogate Railway captain Dan Thirkell scored a late equaliser at Brighouse Town on Saturday (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Harrogate Railway captain Dan Thirkell scored a late equaliser at Brighouse Town on Saturday (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

But Nigel Corner’s u-turn to return as acting chairman last week has given Ashforth assurances over the future at Station View.

“The club is now moving in the right direction off the pitch, if I can get it right on the pitch, we can go from strength to strength,” the manager said.

“The challenge for us now is to keep Railway in this league. Nigel has said there is a three-year plan in place with me in charge and that was fantastic to hear.

“There’s no pressure coming from anywhere at the club. Three months ago we had five or six players here from last season. People that have been at Station View realise we are a good side.

Railway's Fatlum Ibrahimi surging forward against Brighouse Town (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Railway's Fatlum Ibrahimi surging forward against Brighouse Town (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

“It’s massively important that the club has a long term vision rather than a short term one.”

After a difficult start since taking the reins from Billy Miller in the summer, the tide has turned in Ashforth’s favour in recent weeks.

Strong performances against Brighouse Town and Scarborough Athletic have heralded two points while Railway came just one minute from taking another draw at Northwich Victoria last week.

Despite lying second bottom in Evo-Stik First Division North, Ashforth remains confident his side will beat the drop.

He added: “We seemed to have turned the corner a little bit. It’s taken a while to rebuild the squad and get the lads playing in the right way. It probably took a little bit longer than I wanted, but we seem to be playing football the right way now and picking up points.

“We can’t really gauge where we are in the league, I think it’s looking a little unfair on us.

“We are slightly behind our target of one point a game, but when we play the teams in the bottom half of the league, I think we will star picking up wins.”

Meanwhile, Ashforth has extended the loan of 17-year-old Harrogate Town midfielder Rob Worrall for another month.

The boss added: “He’s been great for us. He’s still a young lad but at the moment, he is making it difficult for me to leave him out.

“He’s showing that the step up from academy football to senior football isn’t a massive gap for him.

“He has got the potential to push on. It might take him one or two years to materialise into the player he can be. He has got all the attributes to go on and do it.”

Read more in this week’s Harrogate Advertiser