Harrogate Town v Sutton United: Sulphurites' squad has healthier look about it

Harrogate Town’s squad has a somewhat healthier look about it ahead of their final game of the season.

By Rhys Howell
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 7:31 am
Harrogate Town left-back Lewis Page in EFL Trophy action against Sutton United earlier this season. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites round off 2021/22 at home to Sutton United this Saturday (3pm) and will definitely be without Mark Oxley, Ryan Fallowfield, Josh Falkingham and Will Smith, plus loan duo Brahima Diarra and Lewis Richards, who have long-since returned to their parent clubs after picking up long-term injuries.

But manager Simon Weaver, who has had to contend with a nine-strong injury-list in recent weeks, has been able to report some better news regarding a number of other players who have been sidelined or struggling for fitness of late.

“Falks [Falkingham] was hoping he might be back for this game, but unfortunately he isn’t going to be,” the Town chief revealed to the Harrogate Advertiser.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.

“Saturday is a big day for Lloyd Kerry with him retiring, and we really hope he will be fine, however he sat out training earlier this week as a precaution.

“Lewis Page is touch-and-go. He’s got to get through training at the back end of the week and be pain-free. If he manages that then he could be in contention.

“Calum Kavanagh is fine now and Simon Power should be alright. He just felt his groin tighten up at Forest Green and with all the injury problems he’s had, it was a concern, so we had to be careful. I'm sure he'll be ready for Sutton."

Matt Gray's team will arrive at Wetherby Road this weekend desperate for all three points as they aim to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The Amber & Chocolates kick-off the match eighth in the table and just a point shy of the top-seven. They have lost two out of their last three, in contrast to 17th-placed Town, who’ve won two on the spin, but Weaver knows that his side will be in for a tough examination.

"The last couple of performances have been very pleasing, the lads have shown a lot of character after the difficult run we had been on and there was real panache about the way we performed in the second half at Forest Green," he added.

“We want to deliver another good performance. We’d love to make it three wins in a row and end the season positively, but Sutton need three points to get back in the play-offs and we are aware of what a strong outfit they are.

“We're aware of their strengths. You don’t want to try and play the same game as them or get into a physical battle with them. They're such a powerful outfit that I don't think many teams at this level can match them in that respect.

"We can't give them that opportunity to squeeze the life out of us. What I'm looking for is for us to play with freedom again. We have to make sure we get our passes in like we have been brave enough to do recently and play our own game."

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