Harrogate Town 1 Chesterfield 1: Three things we learned

Aaron Williams came off the substitutes' bench to earn Town a point. Picture: Matt Kikrham
Aaron Williams came off the substitutes' bench to earn Town a point. Picture: Matt Kikrham

Harrogate Town drew 1-1 with Chesterfield at the CNG Stadium in their most recent National League outing.

Here's what we learned from Saturday's encounter.

1. It ain't over 'til it's over.

It has been noted by your writer already this season that Harrogate Town don't know when they're beaten, but at risk of labouring the point, Saturday's late recovery against the Spireites is certainly still worthy of note.

Simon Weaver's team just did not look like scoring. They offered very little as an attacking force in the second half until the last 10 minutes when a brief rally saw them create a couple of chances that came and then went.

Given how their visitors were bravely throwing their bodies in the way of strike after strike, for me, the game had '1-0 to the team who hadn't won in 14 league outings' written all over it.

But the way things panned out, with Town snatching a last-gasp leveller deep in stoppage-time, only serves to re-emphasise the fact that there must be a serious amount of belief and resolve within the Harrogate dressing room.

Listening to the noises made by a number of home supporters within ear-shot, I certainly wasn't alone in thinking that the men in yellow and black weren't going to make a breakthrough on this occasion, but clearly that thought didn't enter the minds of those out on the pitch.

And, and the end of the day, it is the mindset of those individuals that counts.

Fair play, lads.

2. Aaron Williams is knocking on the door for a place in the starting XI.

Aaron Williams came off the substitutes' bench to notch his fifth goal of the season and salvage a point at the death.

The strike was by no means a screamer, but his predatory instincts had him in the right place at the right time to turn the ball home from close range.

He did something similar having come off the bench at Gateshead to snatch a late victory earlier in the season - a rather useful knack to have - but the ex-Brackley Town hitman is much more than a mere super-sub.

His all-round game is good. He is a big, powerful athlete, can hold the ball up and play with his back to goal. He's strong in the air, but also runs the channels, closes down opponents, and, perhaps most importantly, he knows where the back of the net is.

Williams has been in and out of the first XI since his arrival in the summer, but Saturday's key contribution will have done his chances of a re-call for the trip to Maidenhead on November 17 no harm whatsoever.

3. Managers can be booked!

When Chesterfield's Zavon Hines clashed with Town boss Simon Weaver shortly before half-time it led to both men receiving yellow cards.

The Harrogate chief had picked the ball up just outside his technical area following a foul on one of his players, prompting a shove from the ex-West Ham forward.

It was no real surprise to see referee Sam Purkiss brandish a yellow in the direction of Hines, but I doubt many in the stadium expected Weaver to receive the same treatment.

It was certainly the first time that I had seen a manager booked - given a talking to by the man in the middle and/or sent to the stands certainly - but never cautioned.

A quick check of the rule-book does however reveal that at the start of the 2018/19 season, the FA introduced the carding of Football League and National League managers and coaches for misdemeanours that take place at the side of the pitch.

Cards can be issued for actions including inappropriate language or gestures towards match officials, kicking or throwing water bottles, sarcastic clapping and waving imaginary cards.

Accumulating cautions will also lead to various suspensions, with four bookings warranting a one-match ban up to 16 resulting in a misconduct charge.