Harrogate Railway benefiting from 'never-say-die' attitude, says Mick O'Connell

Mick O’Connell has highlighted his Harrogate Railway players’ “never-say-die” attitude as the Starbeck club continue to go from strength to strength.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 10:24 am
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 8:46 am
Dan Thirkell celebrates at full-time after his late penalty earned Harrogate Railway a comeback win over Brigg Town. Pictures: Craig Dinsdale

Saturday saw the Rail consolidate their place in the NCEL Division One play-off places after they came from behind to beat a Brigg Town side who have spent a decent chunk of the season leading the division.

Despite going 1-0 down early on to a free-scoring visiting outfit who have bagged 55 goals in just 15 league outings this term, O’Connell’s men got themselves back in the contest through Elliot Holmes’ close-range finish before Dan Thirkell settled matters with a last-gasp penalty.

“These lads never know when they are beaten,” the Railway boss said.

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Rail boss Mick O'Connell.

“That ‘never-say-die’ attitude is what is getting us results. Once we equalised, the belief just grew and the lads worked so hard. I’d have settled for a point but to score a last-minute winner is always brilliant.

“I know how good this group is, how hard they work and how much it means to them. As they’ve developed and matured they have turned into winners and you’re seeing that now. Last season we’d have snapped your hand off for a point against a side as strong as Brigg, now there is a different mentality here.

“Again, we’ve shown we can compete with the best teams in the division and we will only get better.”

Railway were unable to follow Saturday’s result up with a NCEL League Cup victory over Rossington Main, a much-changed side losing out 2-1 on Tuesday evening.

O’Connell, however, was not at all disappointed by what he saw out on the pitch or in the changing room after the final whistle.

“We rested seven and used the game as an opportunity to get some minutes into some lads who haven’t been playing that much recently,” he added.

“We were up against a really strong Rossington side and despite all the changes, the performance was good. We created a lot of chances and could have won the game.

“And there was sheer disappointment in the lads’ faces after the game. They were gutted, but again, this time last year they’d have been happy with that performance. It just shows the difference.”

This Saturday, fifth-place Railway visit a revitalised Hall Road Rangers, currently 14th in the table, but in fine form of late.