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Harrogate Town v Wrexham: Falkingham pleased to be back but 'desperate' to right Orient wrongs

Josh Falkingham returned to action against Leyton Orient. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Josh Falkingham returned to action against Leyton Orient. Picture: Matt Kirkham

It was a case of mixed emotions for Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham as he walked off the CNG Stadium pitch on Saturday afternoon.

A 3-0 defeat to Leyton Orient ended the club's unbeaten start to life in the National League and also saw them knocked off the top of the table.

And although Falkingham was happy to be back in action following a four-game injury lay-off, the overriding feeling was one of disappointment at a first loss in 12 matches.

With this frustration still fresh in his mind, the 28-year-old central midfielder says that both he and his team-mates are desperate to return to winning ways when fellow high-flyers Wrexham visit Wetherby Road on Tuesday evening.

"It's another big game but we go into it desperate to win, and expecting to win," he said.

"After the start we've had and the winning mentality that has developed at the club, Saturday's result just makes you want to bounce back against Wrexham even more. The lads are dying to put things right.

"We know what we did wrong against Orient. A 3-0 scoreline might look like a bit of a battering but I think it was fairly even, they just dealt with the bigger moments in the game much better. They were ruthless in both boxes, took their chances and kept a clean-sheet, so fair play to them.

"I think that scoring first settled them and gave them the belief to go on and win the match. So, against Wrexham, it is very important that we start better.

"We usually start well at home. We need to be quick out the blocks and hit the ground running, and if we do this then I'm confident that we can go on and get a positive result."

Falkingham was thrown straight back into the starting line-up for the clash with the O's having returned to fitness after a groin injury sustained during Bank Holiday Monday's goalless draw at AFC Fylde.

"I was really happy that the gaffer put me back into the side," Falkingham added.

"Once I found out the extent of the injury, the Orient game was the one I was targeting to be ready for.

"I'd done a week's work leading up to Saturday and I didn't feel too bad. After I got my second wind after about 15 minutes I was fine and pain-free as far as the injury was concerned.

"I'm just pleased to be back out on the pitch."

All you need to know about Wrexham

Last season: 10th (out of 24) in the National League with 17 wins from 46 games.

Previous meeting: The one and only previous meeting between the teams came as recently as December 2017 when a Mark Beck double guided Town to a 2-0 win at the Racecourse Ground in the first round of the FA Trophy.

Last time out: The Dragons suffered just their second loss of the season on Saturday, going down 3-0 on the road at Sutton United.

Luke Summerfield was sent off in the 45th minute, but Wrexham were already 2-0 down by this point.

They sit third in the National League following the defeat.

In the dug-out: Ex-Wales international defender Sam Ricketts, once of Swansea City, Bolton Wanderers and Hull City, took over as manager in the summer after the departure of Dean Keates to Walsall.

He has overseen seven wins and three draws during his first 12 matches at the helm.

One to watch: Cameroonian striker Mike Fondop-Talom, formerly of FC Halifax Town, has five goals to his name already this season.

For live updates and post-match reaction from Tuesday's clash (7.45pm kick-off) follow @HarrogateSport on Twitter.