Harrogate Town v Bromley: Callum Howe keen on another clean-sheet, but wary of the Ravens

Callum Howe came within about 90 seconds of completing a perfect afternoon's work at the CNG Stadium on Saturday.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 11:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 12:02 pm
Harrogate Town's Callum Howe. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The big centre-half's confident 55th-minute finish looked as if it was going to fire Harrogate Town to a deserved 1-0 home victory over Dagenham & Redbridge.

A solid defensive display at the other end of the field had also gone a long way to helping restrict the visiting team to barely a sniff of goal.

With 92 minutes on the clock, it appeared as if Town were going to record a second successive clean-sheet after a run of 20 matches without one.

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That was until Conor Wilkinson popped up with a late, late leveller for the Daggers, much to Howe's frustration.

"For 92 minutes we looked pretty solid, but, having watched Dagenham's goal back, it was pretty poor on our part," the 24-year-old reflected.

"There were a couple of mistakes in the build-up and things we could have done better, which is frustrating given how we'd defended during the rest of the game.

"Maybe people switched off. Maybe we thought we'd already done enough to win the match. We have to demand more of each other out on the pitch to ensure that we see the full game out. Doing it for 90 or 92 minutes isn't always enough.

"It is disappointing and we've conceded a quite a few late goals recently, though I do feel we have looked more solid for the last couple of weeks and we need to carry that into the Bromley game."

The Ravens, who come into Tuesday's fixture 11th in the National League after six wins in their last 10 outings, caused Town real problems when the sides met at Hayes Lane back in August.

The game eventually ended as a 1-1 draw, but the home side created chances at will as they cut Town's defence to ribbons during a one-sided first-half, and only a goalkeeping masterclass by James Belshaw averted a heavy defeat.

With this in mind, Howe insists that Harrogate will have to be on their mettle defensively to nullify Bromley's attacking threat second time around.

"We were nowhere near our best when we played Bromley away. They had a lot of chances and Belly [Belshaw] kept us in that game," he added.

"We were lucky to come away with a point and we have to be a lot better on Tuesday night.

"We are of course more aware of how they play now and we're ready for it, but they are a team on a pretty good run, so we know it will be very tough."

Howe's strike on Saturday took his tally for the season to eight goals, and he still feels that there are a few more to come.

"I was pleased with my finish on Saturday. I just thought I'd stay forward after the set-piece and the ball sat up nicely for me after the keeper saved the first shot from Mullers [Jack Muldoon]," he said.

"Hopefully I can nick a couple more before the end of the season, it'd be nice to get another one on Tuesday night.

"I think I've done well to contribute goals from centre-half and I reckon there are more to come, so why not against Bromley."

Kick-off at the CNG Stadium on Tuesday evening is at 7.45pm.

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