Ebbsfleet United v Harrogate Town: Simon Weaver facing "selection headache"

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver says that he has a “genuine selection headache” ahead of Saturday’s National League trip to Ebbsfleet United.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th January 2020, 12:02 pm
Brendan Kiernan bagged a brace last time Harrogate Town took on Ebbsfleet United. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Having fielded the same starting XI in four consecutive matches over Christmas and New Year, he opted to make six changes for last weekend’s FA Trophy tie at Darlington.

And, after all of those players who he included against the Quakers impressed him during their 2-0 success, Weaver now has a number of tough decisions to make.

Striker Mark Beck is an injury doubt having pulled up in training on Tuesday, though Town have since brought in young Huddersfield hot-shot Kian Harratt on a short-term loan deal.

“Obviously we’d won four on the bounce prior to the Trophy game, so I don’t need to mess around with the team too much, but all the lads who came in against Darlington performed ever so well,” he said.

“We needed to get some of the players 90 minutes under their belts so that they are ready to go if and when we need them. The challenge was thrown down to those lads who haven’t been starting and every single one of them rose to it.

“So I do have a genuine selection headache now and plenty of food for thought in terms of who I pick.”

With Town currently third in the table and just three points behind leaders Barrow having won five of their last six league outings, it would be fair to say that their manager’s headache probably falls into the ‘nice one to have’ category.

Indeed, Weaver admits that his team is in “a great place at the minute”.

He added: “There’s healthy competition for places across the squad. Because we don’t have loads of bodies, even those who are currently out of the team know that they’re never too far away from starting a game.

“Everyone is on it and, as far as I can see, we’ve got a happy camp.

“We are getting results and we just need to carry this on.”

Saturday’s clash with second-from-bottom Ebbsfleet might appear the ideal fixture for Town to do exactly what their manager wants and extend their winning run, but Weaver says that his players cannot afford to take anything for granted.

“Ebbsfleet are fighting for their lives and have made a few signings recently, so it’s going to be a tough one,” he added.

“We’ve won our last three away from homes, but we’ve really had to scrap in each of those matches, and we’ll need to do exactly the same again on Saturday."

Town triumphed 2-0 the last time the two sides met, back in September last year, Brendan Kiernan scoring both goals in front of live BT Sport cameras.