Harrogate Railway boss Liam Gray says his players must put their midweek disappointment at Staveley Miners Welfare behind them and approach Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Kendal Town believing that they can cause an upset.
The men from Station View were beaten 2-1 in Derbyshire on Wednesday evening, but will look to bounce back when they entertain the Evo-Stik Division One North outfit in the competition’s Preliminary Round, 3pm kick-off.
“We weren’t at our best at Staveley, I don’t think a single one of the players played as well as they are capable of doing and I’m expecting a reaction from them against Kendal,” Gray said.
“We need a positive response and for the lads to go out and give everything they’ve got and to believe that we can cause a bit of an upset.
“The FA Cup is probably the greatest competition you can play in. There is still a lot of romance attached to it and for clubs at our level it provides the chance to go on a real adventure and earn some prize money along the way.
“We are desperate to go further in this competition, so I’d like to ask as many people as possible in Starbeck and the surrounding area to come down and support us on Saturday.
“It makes a huge difference when you’re out on the pitch when you have a big crowd behind you and honestly, the fans can be like a twelfth man.”
After an even start to proceedings at Staveley, Railway fell behind just after the half-hour mark when one of their defenders didn’t get enough on an attempted header back to goalkeeper James Webster and Kurtis Morley capitalised to open the scoring.
There were no more goals before the interval, but Gray’s side came out in the second period and took control of the game.
That good start to the half was then undone when possession was once again surrendered cheaply and Callum Mawbey was afforded the oppotunity to make it 2-0 in the 64th minute.
Despite another setback, Railway continued to plug away and were eventually rewarded for their efforts when player-boss Gray fired home from the edge of the box with six minutes of normal time remaining.
They were dealt a blow immediately after reducing the deficit, however, as winger Adam Carter was sent off as he attempted to retrieve the ball from the back of the Staveley net and clashed with the home goalkeeper.
“Adam was being positive and trying to get the ball back off their keeper because he wanted to get on with the game as we needed another goal, but obviously it doesn’t make it any easier for us having a man less on the pitch,” Gray added.
“We’ve picked up a couple of injuries with Luke Stewart and Jordan Hendrie both ending up with knocks and now Adam as well as Ryan Basi have suspensions comming up, so it wasn’t a great night for us.
“To be honest, we didn’t play anywhere near as well as we can and the players owe the club a performance on Saturday.”