Town’s “biggest game of the season”

Leading goalscorer JP Pittman is a doubt for Harrogate Town's "biggest game of the season"
Leading goalscorer JP Pittman is a doubt for Harrogate Town's "biggest game of the season"

Harrogate Town face their “biggest game of the season” to date when they host FC Halifax Town in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, on Saturday.

With the potential for a meeting with Football League opposition in the first round proper, plus £12,500 in prize money up for grabs, the stakes are high, but manager Simon Weaver says he cannot wait for the game.

“I’m really looking forward to it, these are the kind of games that you want to be involved in,” he said.

“Although our priority is to try and do well in the league this season, this is the FA Cup and Saturday will be the biggest game we’ve played so far.

“There’s nothing quite like this competition. It gets people excited and creates a lot of interest.

“We’re expecting a crowd of up to 2,000 people so we know there will be a great atmosphere. Just like me, the players can’t wait for the game and are champing at the bit.”

After praising the Town faithful for the support that they gave the team during their replay victory over FC United of Manchester in the previous round, Weaver is again urging fans to get behind his charges.

“The supporters were incredible in the FC United game and we’re hoping for more of the same,” he added.

“They’re our twelfth man, they can be the deciding factor, so we’re looking forward to them getting behind us once again on Saturday.”

Town have already beaten National League North rivals Halifax in the league this season, triumphing 1-0 away from home in late August.

Weaver is hoping for a repeat performance, but insists that his side will be in for a thorough examination of their credentials.

“Halifax are a strong side who are going well,” he said.

“It’s going to be a big challenge, that’s for sure, but we’re ready for it.”

Leading scorer JP Pittman missed last weekend’s defeat at Chorley through injury and faces a late fitness test ahead of Saturday’s fixture.

Danny Ellis is also carrying a knock and could miss out, but Bradford City loanee Reece Webb-Foster may feature.