Harrogate Town v Newport County: Simon Weaver hopes Friday night lights attract a big crowd
Simon Weaver hopes to see packed stands and terraces when his table-topping Harrogate Town side entertain Newport County on Friday evening.
The League Two leaders will be looking to extend their unbeaten start to 2021/22 into a seventh game and put a bit of daylight between themselves and second-placed Forest Green Rovers.
The Sulphurites have won five and drawn one in all competitions this term, netting 14 goals in the process courtesy of the exciting and high-energy brand of football that they have been serving up.
Thus, Weaver believes that there is no better time to try and actively grow the club’s fan-base even further.
“It was my call to say ‘yes’ to Newport when they asked about moving the game from the Saturday,” Weaver revealed.
“There can’t be that many other things to do in Harrogate on a Friday night, so I thought let’s see if we can use this as an opportunity to create a really good atmosphere under the floodlights and try and attract some more people through the turnstiles.
“It seems as good a time as any. We’re top of the league, we’re playing well and with a lot of energy. There’s attacking football on show. I think it’s an exciting product that we are delivering, so my message to anyone who hasn’t ever been to watch us before is ‘please come and give it a try’.
“Obviously, as a club, we are responsible for delivering the full package in terms of a matchday experience, but as far as the footballing side is concerned, I think we can guarantee a spectacle.”
Weaver also believes that the club’s die-hard supporters could use an extra boost.
He added: “We’ve got an absolutely brilliant hardcore group of fans who follow us home and away and I’d love to see that band of brothers backed up with some additional numbers and help.
“I think that they deserve that. Our club is growing all the time and we want to continue to attract new supporters."
Making Wetherby Road more of a daunting arena for opposing players to walk out in is another thing on Weaver's wish list.
"We want to create an atmosphere that makes our stadium as difficult a place for opposing teams to come as possible," he continued.
"When we walked out at Mansfield on Saturday their partisan supporters were hostile and it does make a difference."
Town's previous outing on a Friday evening did not disappoint, Brendan Kiernan scoring a first-half hat-trick in a thrilling 5-4 success over Cambridge United at the EnviroVent Stadium on April 30.
This week's clash with Newport kicks-off at 7.45pm.