Harrogate Town v Barnet: Belshaw hoping for a quieter night as Town aim to secure first win

James Belshaw. Picture: Matt Kirkham
James Belshaw. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town goalkeeper James Belshaw is hoping for a quieter night's work when Barnet visit the CNG Stadium on Tuesday.

To say that the 27-year-old stopper has been busy during his previous two appearances would be something of an understatement.

He has produced man-of-the-match performances in both, making four key first-half saves against Hartlepool United before a stunning display at Bromley on Saturday almost single-handedly kept his team in the game and enabled them to snatch a third successive draw.

"I've been worked a bit more than I would have liked in the last couple of games, particularly at Bromley, so I'm hoping that I can have a lean on my post and a cup of tea when Barnet come to our place," Belshaw said.

"I expect to be a lot busier this season, but obviously if I'm not having to do much then it means that the lads in front of me are playing okay, and that's what we want.

"It was very pleasing to have performed on an individual level on Saturday and helped us stay in the game so we could get a point that we probably didn't deserve, but that's my job.

"For me, I think that making an important save is equivalent to a striker scoring a goal. It's a great feeling.

"It was just one of those days at Bromley where it all went right for me."

Belshaw has been encouraged by the club's unbeaten start to their first ever National League campaign, but feels that Town are overdue a win.

"If you'd have said to the gaffer at the start of the season that we'd still be unbeaten after three games then I'm sure he would have taken that," he added.

"In the first two games we more than held our own and played some good attacking football, but we need to start turning draws into wins. Like I've said previously, we're not here to make up the numbers, we want to do well.

"The aim is three points against Barnet. They were a Football League club not so long ago and when I played against them a few years ago Edgar Davids was managing them, but I'd back us against anyone in this league when we're at home.

"Nobody has outplayed us at the CNG since I've been at the club and if we keep performing on our own pitch then I'm sure we'll pick up plenty of points."

Everything you need to know about Barnet

Last season: 23rd in League Two (relegated).

Last time out: After drawing their opening two National League fixtures, Saturday saw the Bees beaten 2-1 on home soil by Eastleigh.

One to watch: Shaquile Coulthirst was the club's leading marksman last term, netting 10 times in the league and opened his account for 2018/19 against Braintree Town.

Previous meetings: This is the first competitive encounter between the two sides.

Any other business: Barnet manager John Still is in his third spell in charge of the club. He returned to the helm following the club's relegation after three years in League Two.

Still has already enjoyed three promotions from English football's fifth tier.

Kick off at the CNG Stadium is at 7.45pm. Follow @HarrogateSport on Twitter for live updates and post-match reaction.