Town armed for cup battle
Harrogate Town are one win away from securing a dream FA Cup third round match at Championship side Middlesbrough.
First, they must beat Hastings United away from home in a second round replay tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).
Victory is worth more than £60,000 in FA prize fund and live television fees, as the match is being shown live on ESPN.
Manager Simon Weaver said his troops are ready for battle.
He said: “It is a game of magnitude. We are all fired up and ready to get stuck into Hastings United.
“Drawing Middlesbrough in the third round means there is a massive incentive to do well tonight.
“It would be a fantastic experience for the club, the players and for the fans.”
Town should be at full strength for the clash, with just Alan White suspended. Hastings meanwhile will have to do without Jamie Crellin. The goalscorer at Wetherby Road is also banned. The match is a 3,300-ticket sellout.
Weaver said: “Players are champing at the bit to be involved, we have a good starting place with a fit squad.
“We have been going through everyone’s roles in training, we just can’t wait to get going. The lads all enjoy travelling together, we will be ready to go on Thursday night.”
Town warmed up for the defining clash with a 2-1 win at Colwyn Bay in the Blue Square North on Saturday, Tom Platt netting twice.
The manager reflected on the game: “It gave us quite a big boost, we played well on Saturday and in the first hour we played as well as we have done this season. We closed them down and played good football on a decent pitch.”
Town’s Wetherby Road surface has been covered since Tuesday, in a bid for the surface to be playable when Town host Hinckley United on Saturday (kick-off 3pm). Supporters can watch this match free of charge.
The manager insists his side will be ready for a return to league action after their cup exploits.
He said: “We will be going all out for the win on Saturday.
“They have had a difficult season with budget cuts, but we need to get out there and do well for our supporters.”
Town face a County Cup match against Guiseley AFC on Tuesday night at Tadcaster Albion’s ground (kick-off 7.45pm).
They then travel to league leaders Chester on Wednesday (kick-off 7.45pm).
The manager said: “There will be a great atmosphere,
“Chester are running away with the league, it will be a huge test.”
See page 110 for the latest on the Wetherby Road pitch.
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Weather for Harrogate
Thursday 23 May 2013
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