Harrogate Town taking it 'one game at a time' as they seek glory on two fronts

Harrogate Town may be flying at this moment in time, but there is no danger of their players getting too carried away with their on-field success.
Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham. Picture: Matt KirkhamHarrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Since the final whistle blew on Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Eastleigh, the sides directly above and below the Wetherby Road outfit in the National League standings have both gone on to drop points.

National League leaders Barrow threw away a two-goal lead at Sutton United before third-placed Boreham Wood went down 3-2 at Aldershot Town in midweek.

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As a result, Harrogate – currently second in the table – now find themselves just five points shy of top spot, while there is a more-than-useful seven-point cushion between themselves and their nearest rivals.

Yet, skipper Josh Falkingham insists that neither he nor his team-mates can afford to take anything for granted.

“We’re in a great position right now, but we’ve won absolutely nothing yet. Nothing has been achieved,” the Town captain said.

“We feel good, we’ve got real momentum behind us, however we won’t let ourselves get too high.

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“There are 11 massive games to go and all we are doing is concentrating on the next fixture and on making sure that we are right on it, regardless of the opposition.

“You honestly can’t afford to do any more than take it one game at a time, because if you start to look too far ahead then you lose focus, and that is when teams drop points.

“For example, we have a big, big game at home to Barrow next month, but if we’re worrying about that now then it’s taking our minds off what we need to do at Chesterfield, which is the next league fixture.”

Before their trip to tackle the Spireites next week, Town face National League strugglers AFC Fylde in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.

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For Falkingham, that fixtures provides an opportunity to “switch off” from the title race, though that is not to say that Town plan to take their foot off the gas when they visit the Lancashire coast.

“This is a chance to switch off mentally from the league and focus on something else, on trying to win a cup. It’s a different challenge,” he added.

“We’ve done really, really well in the competition so far and we want to go on and do something that not many clubs at our level do, and win silverware at Wembley.

“The Trophy represents a fantastic opportunity to achieve something special and to make history for the club.”

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Town have failed to record a single victory in their last 11 clashes with Fylde, but with the Coasters currently on course to be relegated back to National League North and having won just once in their last six outings, this weekend might not be the worst time to play them.

That said, Falkingham insists that Jim Bentley’s team cannot be underestimated.

“They’re a good side and they’ve got players who’ve had plenty of success over the last few years, so we know it won’t be an easy game,” he added.

“We’re aware that the pitch might not be in the best condition when we go there, but we’ve got into the habit of adapting our game and churning out results in recent months, so if that’s what we need to do on Saturday, then we’ll back ourselves to go and do it.”

Town drew 0-0 at Mill Farm earlier this season, while their previous outing at Fylde saw them lose 3-1 in last term's National League play-off eliminator.