Title-chasing Town face York in North Yorkshire derby clash

Harrogate Town and York City renew hostilities on Saturday. Picture: Town Pix
Harrogate Town and York City renew hostilities on Saturday. Picture: Town Pix

There will be much more at stake for Harrogate Town than just local bragging rights when they tackle North Yorkshire rivals York City on Saturday afternoon

Simon Weaver’s side could go back to the top of the National League North table with a derby victory, having cut the gap between themselves and leaders Salford City to three points following Easter Monday’s 5-1 success over Blyth Spartans.

Yet, boss Weaver knows that they will have their work cut-out when they travel to Bootham Crescent to tackle sixth-placed City, a side with promotion ambitions of their own.

“It’s going to be a big occasion, and one where we have to go for it because we need the win, but we know it will be very tough,” Weaver said.

“York are right up there only a few places behind us, and they’re there for a reason. The league table doesn’t lie.

“It was a very close game when we beat them at our place, and having watched them recently I think they’re in better shape now.

“With their passionate supporters we know it’s going to be a great atmosphere and we can’t wait for it.

“The only way for us to keep the pressure up on Salford is to keep winning, so that’s what we’re aiming to do.”

Saturday’s short trip to Bootham Crescent will be Town’s first ever for a competitive fixture.

The two sides have never been in the same division before, and had only faced each other in friendlies until a 2-0 success for Weaver’s men at the CNG Stadium earlier this season.

In front of a sell-out crowd, strikes from Joe Leesley and Liam Agnew made sure of the points in a closely-contested affair back in September.

Both team head into the clash in decent form, with Town having lost just once in their last nine games in all competitions, while York are unbeaten in eight at home.

The Wetherby Road outfit are in good health and almost at full-strength, though Leeds United loanee Liam Kitching is suspended.

City will however be missing talsimanic 20-goal top-scorer Jon Parkin, currently sidelined by a knee injury, for an encounter described by manager Martin Gray as their “biggest” of the season.

Kick-off at Bootham Crescent is at 3pm.