Harrogate Town not too disappointed that EFL Trophy clash at Tranmere Rovers was called off

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver has admitted that the club benefited in some ways from the postponement of their midweek EFL Trophy tie at Tranmere Rovers.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 8:55 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 8:56 am
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites were due to visit Prenton Park on Tuesday evening to contest their round of 32 clash, however the Merseysiders’ ground was not deemed safe enough to host the fixture.

A number of areas of Rovers’ stadium were damaged by Storm Arwen last Friday night but, having carried out work to repair the affected stands, the Wirral club hoped that that their clash with Town would be able to go ahead as planned.

A Safety Advisory Group inspection did however reveal that unsecured high-level advertising in Tranmere’s Kop remained ‘dangerous’.

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“Obviously we want the game to go ahead and to try and progress to the next round of the competition, but the timing of this fixture being called off was quite good really,” Weaver said.

“Connor Hall is suspended for this competition, so we were down to the bare bones defensively. It looks like this match might be rearranged for December 21 now, by which point we might have a couple of lads back from injury.

“We’ve also had one or two carrying knocks and we’ve been stretched so thin in recent matches that we haven’t been able to rotate all that much, so having no game on Tuesday allowed us to give the lads a breather and let them re-charge the batteries.

“And it means that we’re fresher for Portsmouth and not setting off down there off the back of two away trips in the space of a few days

Tranmere released a statement on Tuesday lunch-time which explained: ‘Despite the best efforts of specialists to resolve the damage from Storm Arwen, it has now been determined that tonight’s match cannot safely proceed.

‘The main stand roof has been fixed but it has been determined that there is a remaining issue with the high level advertising in the Kop stand which is loose due to rivets having been ripped off in the wind.

‘As such, after a Safety Advisory Group inspection it is considered dangerous until it can be removed or re-riveted.

‘Despite specialist equipment being brought in to deal with it, continuing high winds mean the work cannot be completed today.

‘Whilst this desperately disappointing, everything that could be done has been done, we apologise for any inconvenience caused to supporters.’