Conference North: Boss plots change to ‘poor’ Harrogate Town midfield

NADV 1408093AM11 Harrogate Town V Tamworth.(1408093AM11)
NADV 1408093AM11 Harrogate Town V Tamworth.(1408093AM11)

Simon Weaver will ring the midfield changes in Harrogate Town’s Bank Holiday double header, after criticising his team’s “poor” 3-2 defeat to Hednesford Town on Saturday.

Weaver hauled former Leeds United youth team captain Simon Lenighan off at half-time during the defeat, as Town’s winless start stretched the three matches.

Youngster Alex Metcalfe, who replaced Lenighan, is in contention for a starting berth against Barrow at home on Saturday and North Ferriby United on Monday after a tenacious second-half performance.

Lloyd Kerry is also likely to be moved back into a central position, after starting against Hednesford on the right. The gaffer said his midfielders “went missing” in his side’s second loss of the campaign after losing the physical battle.

He said: “We were second best in the engine room and I don’t like any of my teams being second best there.

“We were poor. We went missing in the middle of the park, and they went missing for long periods. That’s not what we have built it around.

“We can’t have many days like that. We need to turn the corner quickly because we have two of the biggest games coming up which are posing early challenges to this squad.

“It would be great to get a win against Barrow. That will fill us with confidence for Monday. All we can concentrate on now is everyone improving in their roles.”

After Barrow, Town head east to face last season’s play-off losers North Ferriby on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm), a match that will pit Weaver against former players Adam Bolder and Dan Clayton.

Town thrashed Ferriby 5-0 at this stage of the season last year, but lost 3-2 away in April.

Both Barrow and United are fancied to challenge at the top of Vanarama North this season, and Weaver said Town had a job to do to prevent going five games without a win.

Barrow possess former NFU forward Anthony Wilson in their ranks alongside former Conference stars Jason Walker and Andy Cook.

“They have got good quality,” added Weaver.

“We will have to compact the space between the two lines of midfield. We have to stop the supply from out wide which we didn’t do on Saturday.”

Six players remain sidelined for Town, with Adam Nowakowski, Leigh Franks, Ryan Kendall all expected to return to fitness next week.

Weaver hopes the move to bring Kerry back into a central area will add creativity to the midfield, which was missing against Hednesford.

He added: “Lloyd is an ultimate pro. He loves his football and he’s one of the better midfielders around in non-league football.

“But he needs supply. We want him to have the supply of the ball and not always going from A to C and missing out B.”