Harrogate Town are hoping for New Year cheer on the road as they prepare for this week’s away day double header.
The Blue Square North action begins at Altrincham on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) before Town travel to Lincolnshire to face Boston United on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).
The matches follow Town’s 2-1 New Year’s Day league victory at Workington, which lifted them to 12th in the table after goals by Lee Elam and new on-loan signing from Bradford City Adam Baker.
Manager Simon Weaver knows his side need a New Year boost to fuel their promotion hopes.
He said: “It is important we start the New Year off in the right manner.
“These away games don’t come much harder, but if we want to be in and around the play-offs ourselves then we must gain a decent points tally from these games.”
The manager has identified dangermen in both sides.
He said: “Altrincham are well known for their attacking prowess, and wingers Nicky Clee and Duncan Whatmore.
“Whatmore’s pace and direct style mean he is an exciting player, so we will have to do a professional job on him.
“They also have Damian Reeves up front, who scores a phenomenal amount of goals.”
On Boston, the manager said: “It is another tough game.
“I know their new manager Graham Drury well from his time at Corby, he will have Boston well organised.
“I was at Ilkeston with their forward Mark Newsham. His running off the ball enables him to usually be in the right place at the right time.
“We must keep the Boston home crowd quiet early on and then impose ourselves on the opposition.”
Town’s home match against Droylsden on Saturday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, as was Boxing Day’s game against Workington.
Town relaid their Wetherby Road surface in the summer, and wet weather affecting the drainage has led to numerous postponements.
The manager understands frustrations, and is gearing up for a tough season at home.
He said: “It is frustrating having so many games called off.
“However, I know what manpower and financial investment has gone into the pitch, so it wouldn’t be right to point the finger of blame at anyone.
“We will just have to hope for drier weather and get through this season on a difficult pitch.”
Town have rearranged two league fixtures. They travel to Bishop’s Stortford on January 22, and host Workington on February 5 (kick-offs 7.45pm).