Town ready for historic derby

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Town Pix
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Town Pix

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver says his players can’t wait for Saturday’s historic derby clash with North Yorkshire rivals York City.

The National League North showdown at the CNG Stadium will be the first ever meeting of the sides in a league fixture.

And the mouthwatering face-off pits two of the division’s form teams against one another, with Town currently top of the table and City on a four-match unbeaten run that has included victories over the likes of fellow big guns Spennymoor Town and Salford City.

“This will probably be the biggest league fixture that I’ve been involved in as Harrogate Town manager,” Weaver said.

“It’s going to be a massive occasion and everyone at the club is really looking forward to the game.

“Given the long histories of both clubs, it is incredible that we’ve never played each other in a league game before.

“Both sides go into Saturday in really good form, however, it may be an old cliche, but the form-book does tend to go out of the window in big derby matches.

“One thing I can say for certain is that we are really up for it and I know that this will be a good gauge of exactly where we’re at.”

A bumper crowd is expected at Wetherby Road with more than 2,000 tickets for the game already sold and Weaver believes that fans of both sides will be in for a treat.

“There is so much local interest and excitement around the game, it’s obviously a really big one for the fans,” he continued.

“I’m sure they’ll see a good game of football and we really want to get a positive result, not just to keep ourselves on an upward curve, but for our supporters as well.

“I know that those beers in the bar after the game always taste so much better when your team wins a local derby game, and that is what we are aiming for on Saturday.

“York have a very experienced manager and a squad of extremely good players with a lot of Football League experience, so we know that it’s going to be a really tough test, but we are hungry for another three points.”

Midfielder Liam Agnew will come into contention for a place in Weaver’s starting XI following his return from injury.

“Liam’s a big player for us and I’m delighted to have him back. He’s been training very well and is in with a chance of a start,” Weaver said.

Saturday’s fixture has been made an all-ticket affair , meaning supporters will be unable to pay on the day at the gate.

The decision was taken following ongoing discussions with Harrogate Safety Advisory Group, and due to the fact ticket sales have climbed to record levels.

A club spokesperson said: “We would like to offer Harrogate Town season ticket holders the option of entering the ground on Saturday through the club office located at the CNG Stadium’s North Gate.

“This will reduce the number of people entering the ground through the turnstiles and ensure queuing time is kept to a minimum.

“Season ticket holders may however still enter the ground through the turnstiles if they wish to.

“We look forward to welcoming all supporters to the CNG Stadium for this memorable occasion.”