From the Terraces: Deserted by my daughter for visit of fallen giant

Harrogate Town fans enjoy Aaron Williams late strike against Chesterfield. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town fans enjoy Aaron Williams late strike against Chesterfield. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town supporter Dave Worton's latest weekly column.

I had this latest column all mapped out in advance, I was going to write about myself and my daughter.

It was going to be funny and insightful in equal parts. That was until she decided to bring her friend along to the Chesterfield game for a first visit and head off around the other side of the ground.

It’s probably my fault, because I took up a standing position in the Wetherby Road Stand right next to the vocal jumping up and down element, and it was a bit too raucous for her friend.

At least that’s the reason I’m giving, as the alternative is too hard to contemplate.

Still, apart from being deserted by Molly, I could quite get used to this.

Another bumper crowd was inside the CNG Stadium to see Town take on the latest fallen ‘giant’, this time in the form of the Spireites, who filled the Kop with a large, boisterous following, probably the best we’ve seen so far.

I spoke to a fellow fan at half-time, saying how I was enjoying the spectacle, irrespective of the result, and appreciating how far we’d come in such a short time.

“Yes,” he replied. “This is proper football.”

In truth, there hadn’t been a lot to cheer in the first half, but the match was always absorbing and finely balanced.

Chesterfield had come to frustrate and did it very well without ever looking a threat themselves.

It all changed within 12 minutes of the second period, when the visitors took the lead with their only shot on target out of three.

They then sat even deeper, and this gave Town a little more space to build attacks from the back.

Still though, nothing was coming off for the home side in the final third, as passing moves consistently broke down.

Fed up of being ‘Billy No Mates’, I went and stood next to my mate Mark behind the away dug-out, watching Martin Allen, the Chesterfield manager, pacing up and down the touchline going beserk at his players.

I really wanted to put a hand on his shoulder and tell him to take it easy for the good of his health.

Heaven knows what he’s like when his team are losing.

Anyway, as I said, it all changed. My Zen-like calm exited stage left.

As the away fans bounced up and down and shook the net, I really wanted Town to burst that bubble.

The visitors played into our hands by dropping even deeper, their time-wasting punished by seven additional minutes.

I was joined by my daughter as Town laid siege towards the visiting fans and, in an almighty goalmouth scramble, where Town seemed to be doing their utmost best not to put the ball in the net again, up popped substitute Aaron Williams to smash it home with the last kick of the game. Bubble well and truly burst!

I could go on again about this marvellous rollercoaster game of football but, in all truth, the outcome was entirely predictable.

Chesterfield had drawn their previous five, four of them finishing one-all!