Harrogate Town v Solihull Moors: 'A battle of two contrasting styles'

Joe Leesley in action during Harrogate Town's 3-1 victory over Solihull Moors last season. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Joe Leesley in action during Harrogate Town's 3-1 victory over Solihull Moors last season. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Simon Weaver says that he expects the side who assert their style of play on the game better to come out on top of Saturday’s National League curtain-raiser between Harrogate Town and Solihull Moors.

The Town boss described the contest as a “battle of two contrasting styles”, going on to add “I don’t think that anyone can dispute that.”

Solihull, runners-up in England’s fifth tier in 2018/19, boast a squad packed with big, powerful players and a mean defence, while free-scoring Harrogate are known for their attractive, pass-and-move football.

“They’ve got real strength and power in their squad,” Weaver continued.

“This is probably one of the three or four toughest fixtures we could have had on the opening day and I think that whoever asserts their style better will probably come out on top.

“Both teams are going to be going into the game fit, strong and confident and while we want our style of play to shine through, we know that we will have to read and manage the game as required if we are to come out on top.

“Obviously it’s good to get off to a positive start to a new season, it can give you a real boost, but the title-race or the play-off battle isn’t going to be won and lost on the first weekend.”

Weaver has now settled on a starting XI for Saturday’s clash, though admits that there were some tough decisions to make in terms of his selection.

“It wasn’t easy, but the hardest decision was regarding the two players who I’ve had to leave out of the match-day 16 because everybody has done so well in pre-season,” he said.

Town won one and lost one when they faced-off with Saturday’s opponents last term.

Liam Kitching, George Thomson and Callum Howe – now a Moors player – were on target in a 3-1 success at Wetherby Road last August before Solihull took revenge with a 2-0 win on home soil in early December.

Kick-off at the CNG Stadium on Saturday is at 3pm.