Harrogate Railway still have work to do despite securing a play-off spot, insists Mick O'Connell

Mick O'Connell insisted that there is "still work to be done" after his Harrogate Railway side secured an NCEL Division One play-off berth.

By Rhys Howell
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 11:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 2:20 pm
Harrogate Railway manager Mick O'Connell. Pictures: Craig Dinsdale
Harrogate Railway manager Mick O'Connell. Pictures: Craig Dinsdale

Saturday's 2-1 comeback win at FC Humber United guaranteed that the Starbeck outfit will finish in the top-five regardless of what happens in their final two matches of the regular season.

Currently occupying fourth place, Railway have already broken their own records for both number of points in an NCEL season (80), and the number of home victories (14) during a single campaign but are still aiming to re-take third spot from rivals Brigg Town.

"I'm really proud that we've made the play-offs, it's taken a lot of hard work from everyone involved to get us to this point," O'Connell said.

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Marcus Day celebrates after netting Harrogate Railway's 60th-minute winner at FC Humber United.

"I feel as if we have come a long way, however there is still work to be done. There are two more fixtures and then the play-offs. We are focused on continuing to pick up results.

"The aim is still to finish third, we've made no secret of that. We want that home draw in the play-off semi-final. If we can get that, it would be brilliant, if not, then we're still in the play-offs anyway.

"Our draw at Nostell last week took it out of our hands, so we are relying on Brigg dropping points now, but we just need to focus on trying to win our two remaining fixtures because that's all we can control."

Second-half strikes from Kieran Greenway and Marcus Day saw Railway recover after Adam Baskerville had netted a penalty to move FC Humber in front at the weekend, with O'Connell admitting that he felt relief at the final whistle.

"We weren't brilliant on Saturday, but we still dominated large periods of the game and were pretty comfortable even though it was only 2-1," he added.

"It's just good to get over the line mathematically because it's been hanging over us for a few weeks now and I feel like a little bit of pressure had crept in.

"The lads were a bit anxious, a bit nervous and worried about making mistakes and although we have still been getting results, we've been limping over the line in games.

"I've told the lads that they just need to chill out a bit and I'm hoping they go out and play with more freedom in these last two games. We've been playing at about 60 per cent, so we are due a really good performance."

Railway return to action on Tuesday evening when they entertain fifth-placed Rossington Main at Station View knowing that a single point from the contest will guarantee that their opponents cannot leapfrog them in the table. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.