`

Railwaymen to kick-off new campaign away at Maltby Main

Josh Underwood and his Harrogate Railway team-mates will begin the 2018/19 sesason with a trip to Maltby Main
Josh Underwood and his Harrogate Railway team-mates will begin the 2018/19 sesason with a trip to Maltby Main

Harrogate Railway will kick off their 2018/19 NCEL Premier Division campaign on the road at Maltby Main.

The new season gets underway on Saturday, August 4, and Brian Davey’s side will then travel to Bridlington Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup.

Their first home league fixture sees Hall Road Rangers visit Station View on Tuesday, August 14.

The Railwaymen have been draw at home to North West Counties outfit Silsden in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase on September 1 and have two big local derby clashes with Knaresborough Town to look forward to on December 1 and April 13.

“I’m not bothered what order we play these teams in, we’re just looking forward to that first league game on August 4,” boss Davey said.

“We know it’s going to be tough going there, but we should be in decent shape by that point.”

The Railwaymen are unbeaten in four friendly outings this summer, despite the fact that their new boss has almost had to build a new team from scratch, and Davey is satisfied with his side’s pre-season preparations.

“I’m far happier now than I was two weeks ago,” he added.

“When you come into a club and don’t really have any players to start with it is a bit worrying, but we’ve been very busy, we have spoken to lots of lads and it’s all coming together slowly.

“We’ve managed to build a squad that we are pretty happy with and I think we will be able to field a team that will be competitive come the start of the season.”

The Rail fielded two XIs last Wednesday, one side drawing 3-3 with West Yorkshire League outfit Field AFC and the other beating Davey’s previous club Knaresborough Celtic 3-1.

On Saturday, NCEL Premier Division rivals Garforth Town were dispatched at Station View, Graham Whitehead converting a first-half penalty to secure a 1-0 win.

Three days later, Littletown of the West Riding County Amateur Premier Division visited Starbeck and went down by a 2-0 scoreline.

Fraser Lancaster netted after 28 minutes to put the hosts ahead, finishing off after Sam Barker’s shot was parried.

Sean Hunter then wrapped things up in the second period with a 55th-minute spot-kick.

“The last two games we have had so many players missing that we have been forced into starting a lot of young lads and it has proved to be a blessing in disguise,” Davey added.

“They’ve stepped up and done extremely well. We’ve now got a bit of a headache because we’ve got so many lads in contention for a shirt.

“It’s not about results in pre-season, it is performances that matter and we were the better side against Garforth and then played Littletown off the park.”

League fixtures 2018/19:

AUGUST

4 Maltby Main (a)

14 Hall Road Rangers (h)

18 Staveley MW (h)

22 Bottesford Town (a)

25 Hemsworth MW (a)

SEPTEMBER

8 Penistone Church (h)

22 Bridlington Town (h)

29 Handsworth (a)

OCTOBER

6 Yorkshire Amateur (h)

13 Albion Sports (h)

20 Thackley (h)

27 Goole (a)

NOVEMBER

3 Maltby Main (h)

10 Eccleshill United (h)

17 Garforth Town (h)

24 Liversedge (a)

DECEMBER

1 Knaresborough (h)

8 Athersley Rec (a)

15 Worksop Town (h)

22 Hall Road Rangers (a)

29 Bottesford Town (a)

JANUARY

5 Eccleshill United (a)

12 Bridlington Town (a)

19 Handsworth (h)

26 Barton Town (h)

FEBRUARY

2 Garforth Town (a)

9 Penistone Church (a)

16 Hemsworth (h)

23 Yorkshire Amateur (a)

MARCH

2 Athersley Rec (h)

9 Albion Sports (a)

16 Thackley (a)

23 Liversedge (h)

26 Barton Town (a)

30 Goole (h)

APRIL

6 Worksop Town (a)

13 Knaresborough (a)

27 Staveley MW (a)