From the Terraces: Relishing fixture congestion after three long weeks off

Town fans watch on during last season's defeat at Salford City. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Town fans watch on during last season's defeat at Salford City. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town supporter Dave Worton's latest weekly column.

As anyone of a certain age will tell you, life seems to fly by faster with each passing year.

Under normal circumstances, I’d agree whole-heartedly with this diagnosis, but these last three weeks with no Town game have dragged big time.

Now, sort of like the buses, you wait three long weeks for a match to come along and then five turn up in the space of just two weeks - six, if you count the West Riding County Cup match against near neighbours Guiseley that will take place next Monday evening.

To this end, I was glad to see Michael Woods return to Town in midweek.

We’re going to need the entire squad for the approaching fixture pile-up and another body in midfield augers well going forward.

The big one for me and my daughter has to be the trip on the supporter’s coach to Salford City next Tuesday night.

You won’t need reminding that the Ammies beat us twice last year, and that made up the six points difference between the two teams at the end of the season.

Around 250 supporters travelled to Salford in January, complete with a barrage of yellow and black balloons, only to see the team go in 2-0 down at half-time on a predictably rain-soaked Manchester pitch.

Town had seen a lot of good possession, but had struggled to get past the half way line and threaten the opposition goal as they battled the heavy playing surface.

Salford had just employed the tactic of pinging the ball into a slippery penalty area at every opportunity and seeing what chaos ensued.

The second half, however, was total one way traffic towards the travelling fans, as Town sought to turn the match around with urgent, incisive passing football.

They managed to pull one back through Dominic Knowles just after the hour-mark, but fell just short, deserving of at least a draw as the home fans bit their nails.

I remember going home on the coach feeling gutted that we hadn’t managed to equalise, but proud of the football Town had played that day, bolstered by non-stop encouragement from the travelling fans.

It almost goes without saying that both players and fans need to show that spirit again for the full 90 minutes on Tuesday night, as we seek to avenge last season’s results.

But first, we have the not-so-little matter of lowly Braintree Town at Wetherby Road on Saturday.

The Essex club have been dire on their home turf but slightly better on the road, and I’m hoping a rested team can avoid the kind of stuttering performance we produced against struggling Dover Athletic last month.

It’s often said that good things come to those that wait. In this case, let’s certainly hope so.