Harrogate Town must tighten up at the back, insists match-winner Warren Burrell

Thrilled though he was to score his side's dramatic late winner against Rochdale, Warren Burrell insists that Harrogate Town needed to tighten up at the back.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 8:22 am
Warren Burrell celebrates his 91st-minute winner against Rochdale. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The long-serving 31-year-old defender fired home following a scramble at a 91st-minute corner to settle a thrilling opening-day encounter.

The Sulphurites flew out of the traps and were two goals to the good inside 10 minutes courtesy of Luke Armstong's predatory close-range strike and a cultured finish from fellow debutant Alex Pattison.

But, just as has been the case throughout their pre-season campaign, Town looked far from solid defensively, allowing Rochdale a number of sights of goal and offering them a route back into the contest.

Warren Burrell fires home to settle Saturday's League Two showdown at Wetherby Road.

"Attacking-wise, we put some good football together and scored three goals. It's just keeping them out at the other end that we need to work on," Burrell told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"We've taken a two-goal lead then been pegged back to 2-2 and conceded sloppy goals. We conceded some sloppy goals in pre-season and we wanted to put that right today.

"So, we've got something to work on there because we have conceded two again today, but having said that we've found the winner in the end and got the result that we wanted at the start of the game."

Burrell last scored for Town back in the 2018/19 campaign when they were playing their football in the National League.

And he admits that the excitement of him finding the back of the net after such a long wait combined with the return of supporters to the EnviroVent Stadium may have led to him over-doing it with his celebrations.

"I was just thinking hit the target. Obviously I'm not known for goalscoring, but it was nice to chip in," the former Mansfield Town man added.

"I saw the board go up so I knew we were in stoppage-time, so when I scored I thought it was near-enough the last kick of the game, I didn't realise there were another seven minutes left. I probably put a bit too much into the celebration, I was a bit tired after that.

"But it obviously meant a lot, the fans are back in now so obviously we wanted to give them a result today. The performance was up and down throughout but we got the win we wanted in the end.

"It was brilliant to have supporters back in. Playing behind closed doors has been frustrating. We're all in it together and we want the fans here in their numbers, so to get the win today was good for them."