Preview of Saturday’s football action

Harrogate Town hope to celebrating a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup come Saturday evening

Harrogate Town hope to celebrating a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup come Saturday evening

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Harrogate Town host FC Halifax Town in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

There is the potential for a meeting with Football League opposition in the first round proper, should Simon Weaver’s men progress, plus the small matter of £12,500 in prize money up for grabs.

Harrogate have already beaten their National League North rivals once this season, triumphing 1-0 at The Shay in late August.

Kick-off at the CNG Stadium is at 3pm.

Harrogate Railway will be looking to extend their three-match unbeaten run when they travel to Garforth Town in the NCEL Premier Division.

An upturn in form has Paul Beesley’s side claim seven points from a possible nine in recent weeks, climbing out of the relegation places and up to 18th in the league standings.

With Rail still missing a number of key personnel due to injury, player-boss Beesley expects to have to name himself in the starting XI once again, with newly-appointed assistant manager Liam Ormsby set to oversee proceedings from the sidelines.

In Evo-Stik Division One North, Tadcaster Albion will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s FA Trophy exit at Glossop North End when they host Droylsden.

Billy Miller’s troops are currently sitting pretty in the league table, occupying both fourth position and a play-off spot.

By contrast, Saturday’s visitors find themselves just above the drop zone in 18th, having won just two of their opening 11 league fixtures.

Taddy will head into the game confident of maintaining their unbeaten home league record, but will be looking for an improvement in the final third having drawn blanks in their previous two outings, against Bamber Bridge and then Glossop.

Knaresborough Town are another side looking to get back to winning ways, when they host fellow NCEL Division One promotion-hopefuls AFC Emley on Saturday.

Town suffered back-to-back defeats last week against Eccleshill United in the league, then Goole AFC in the West Riding FA County Cup.

Victory over Emley could see them move into pole position, but boss Paul Stansfield is expecting a tough test.

“Emley are right up there near the top of the table with us and we know that they have a lot of quality,” he said.

“It’s a big game for us and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s probably not the best time to be missing 10 players, but I’m still confident going into the match.

“The lads who we’ve been playing in recent weeks have been doing the business for us and I believe that we are good enough to beat Emley.”

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