Harrogate Town skipper Josh Falkingham pleased with goal against Sutton United but laments sloppy display

Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham says he has adapted his game in recent weeks in a bid to try and offer more of a threat in the final third.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 8:12 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 8:12 pm
Harrogate Town's Josh Falkingham takes the ball past Sutton United goalkeeper Nik Tzanev before slotting home a 68th-minute leveller. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The 27-year-old midfielder was on target in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Sutton United, his second goal in the space of a week having gone 13 months without one.

And, while he says that there were almost no positives to take from what was a forgettable performance at Gander Green Lane, the Town skipper was at least able to draw some satisfaction from seeing his efforts to make an impression in the opposition box come to fruition.

“We were way below par against Sutton, it’s one of those performances that you just have to forget about and put behind you,” Falkingham said.

“Obviously I was pleased to get the goal, but the disappointing thing was that we couldn’t stay in the game at 1-1 for longer and give ourselves a foothold to try and go on and get a positive result.

“Since Warren [Burrell] has been playing in midfield I’ve felt like I needed to adapt my game a bit so that we’re not both playing similar roles in the same area of the pitch.

“I’ve tried to free myself up to get further forwards and into areas that I’ve not really seen myself in too often since I came to Harrogate.

“I felt a responsibility to the team to try and offer something a bit different and it’s been nice to contribute with the goals because I feel like I haven’t done myself justice during the last couple of seasons. Fingers crossed I can do it a bit more often.”

Falkingham’s equaliser came in the 68th minute of Saturday's contest, levelling the scores after Harry Beautyman had headed Sutton into a first-half lead.

Getting on the end of Jon Stead’s flick from a long ball forward by Ryan Fallowfield, the Town captain outmuscled Jon Barden then showed good composure to round goalkeeper Nik Tzanev and slot into an empty net.

That was however as good as it was to get for Simon Weaver’s team, Tommy Wright producing two fine strikes to wrap up all three points for the hosts.

“Conceding again three minutes after we got level just meant that the momentum shifted almost straight away, it just disappeared and we found ourselves chasing the game again,” Falkingham added.

“That said, this wasn’t a performance that we can really take anything from. Usually there are some positives, but it was a display full of basic errors.

“We weren’t making five or 10-yard passes, myself included. There was a real lack of quality up front and we were losing too many battles at the back.

“We can’t let ourselves down like that again. We are heading towards the festive period now, part of the season that will be paramount as far as us realising our ambitions are concerned.

“We lacked consistency in December and January last season and we have to make sure that we’ve learned our lessons.”

Town remain seventh in the National League standings despite Saturday’s loss, but now find themselves seven points shy of top-spot.