Massive week pits Town against big-hitting visitors

H'gate Town V Scunthorpe. No. 11 100713dAM
H'gate Town V Scunthorpe. No. 11 100713dAM

HARROGATE Town boss Simon Weaver knows his side will be up against it tomorrow.

AFC Telford visit the CNG Stadium (3pm) with Town still smarting from Monday’s crushing 4-0 loss at Hinckley.

The big hitters will be favourites to pick up another victory on their march to promotion but Weaver is looking to flex his muscles and oversee Town’s fifth home victory of the season.

The encounter kicks off a big week for his troops.

Rivals Guiseley will make the short hop over from West Yorkshire on Tuesday night for a rearranged fixture originally cancelled over the festive period (7.45pm).

Town come into the games in mixed form having picked up a 3-1 win at Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday, their first league victory on the road since October, before Monday’s St Valentine’s Day massacre.

“We need to put in another performance like we did against Gainsborough,” said Weaver.

“I thought we were excellent, especially after going a goal down. Monday came a bit too soon for us.

“The lads were buzzing before the game. But we lost Richard Pell early and Mark Cook wasn’t playing, they were two big losses for us.

“But we’re looking forward to Telford first. And then of course Guiseley.

“That’s Tuesday night football and under lights, exciting. There will be grease on the ball, giving us an opportunity to pass it around and hopefully a big crowd down there to watch.

“They’ll bring a few with them, we are really looking forward to it.”

Weaver has been busy in the transfer market in recent days snapping up former Hull City midfielder John Leonard as cover.

He’s also added Nigerian born striker Chibuzor Chilaka. The 24-year-old comes on loan from Bradford City and made his debut on Saturday.

Town’s Jekyll and Hyde season continued at the weekend with a hard-fought 3-1 win in Lincolnshire.

Trinity went into the lead early on but a Graeme Armstrong penalty and further strikes by Wayne Phillips and Gary King sealed the win for Town.

Two days later, it was a different story.

Pell went close for Town early on but a James Mace goal and a Lloyd Kerry header put the home side in the ascendancy at the break.

It could have been even worse for Town had Jordan Myers not saved a James Reid pen’ just before half-time.

Dominic Roma nearly pulled Weaver’s side back into the contest after the break following a strong King run.

But big striker Gary Ricketts made it three when he poked home from a corner.

There was more misery for Town at the death when Jake Picton was judged to have fouled in the box, and was red carded for a second bookable offence.

Kerry made no mistake from the spot for his second goal of the night.

Meanwhile Weaver has revealed plans are in place to reintroduce a reserve team at the club next season.

There will also be a Harrogate Town U-19s side with players from the current Pannal Ash U-17s- who are already affiliated with Town- making the step up.

“We will continue the link with Pannal Ash and use the side as a stepping stone,” added Weaver.

“The reserve team will be good for both me and John McDermott.

“It won’t be necessarily about winning, the ethos will all be about development.

“We are all very excited about it.”

andrew.groves@ypn.co.uk