Rob Youhill on a survival mission at Harrogate Railway after ill-fated spells at Darlington 1883 and Shaw Lane

Robbie Youhill, left, making a trademark run down the right wing for Harrogate Railway last season (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
Robbie Youhill, left, making a trademark run down the right wing for Harrogate Railway last season (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Returning Harrogate Railway winger Rob Youhill has revealed his burning desire to help the struggling red and green outfit beat the drop.

Youhill made a sensational return to his home town club prior to Saturday’s dramatic 1-1 draw at Northwich Victoria after struggling to hold down starting places at Darlington 1883 and Shaw Lane Aquaforce this season.

Railway are deep in a relegation dogfight at the bottom of Evo-Stik First Division North and have 13 critical games remaining to save their season and halt a drop into the Northern Counties leagues.

After a tough season mixing travelling and playing, Youhill admitted the chance to enjoy home comforts was the key to supporting the survival mission.

On why he decided to return, the 28-year-old said: "I'm just trying to find the right chemistry and I just want to go back and enjoy it.

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Rob Youhill made his return in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Northwich Victoria

Rob Youhill made his return in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Northwich Victoria

"My mind might have gone off the game a little bit travelling so far each week.

"I have a baby on the way, my dad thinks that’s the reason but actually I just thought I would come back. Railway are in a relegation fight and I want to see if I can help out."

Youhill was a major factor in Railway’s record high league finish under departed boss Billy Miller 12 months ago.

His link-up with Nathan Cartman became one of the most feared at semi-professional level and it was the attraction of joining up with the striker again that saw him leave Station View for Darlington last May.

Mum Sharon Youhill attends son Robbie after he dislocates elbow against Harrogate Railway (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Mum Sharon Youhill attends son Robbie after he dislocates elbow against Harrogate Railway (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

However, a dislocated elbow in a pre-season friendly against Railway hurt his hopes of holding down a place at the Quakers and he was snapped up by ambitious Shaw Lane Aquaforce.

Again, his direct style of play failed to gain the backing of new boss Craig Elliott.

And after only seven appearances in three months, the Harrogate player went looking to refind his form on old turf.

There the chance to return to Railway came about and, having watched the club’s poor results each week during a difficult season, Youhill jumped at the chance to answer the SOS.

Youhill said: "Railway is the first team I look at each Saturday on Twitter.

"It’s been a tough one. I have spoken to Ash a lot and I work with Billy so we talk about it often.

"I think of a lot of people at this club and how we did last year. We probably achieved more than we should have done. I have always said that the top team in the league should be the one with the most money and the bottom team has the lowest. It’s kind of how it’s gone.

"It’s not all about money but in this level of football some of the deals that have gone on, £15,000 for a non league footballer. We are not in that realm at all.

"I was really happy to get £25 petrol money on Saturday, I was buzzing about it.

"There are some really good people here. Hopefully we can give back to the people that work hard behind the bar for no money."

There’s a passion in Youhill’s return. A sense of unfinished business. And a rueful sense of having left the club in the pits.

"Maybe that’s my age,” he joked. “I see the younger lads working really hard. If they are going to work hard, than I need to work hard. I have a big passion for the club. That stems from last year and the year before.

"Before I came here, I said I would never go back to Railway.

"I was in the U19s here and didn't get my chance in the first team. I had a bad idea about Railway but Billy and Ash got me and changed my whole idea.

"I'm so grateful they convinced me to come and I just want to make sure we stay up."

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