Harrogate Town's improved form built on solid foundations, says Levi Sutton

Harrogate Town midfielder Levi Sutton takes aim at the Doncaster Rovers goal during Tuesday night's 2-0 League Two success at the Eco-Power Stadium. Pictures: Matt KirkhamHarrogate Town midfielder Levi Sutton takes aim at the Doncaster Rovers goal during Tuesday night's 2-0 League Two success at the Eco-Power Stadium. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town midfielder Levi Sutton takes aim at the Doncaster Rovers goal during Tuesday night's 2-0 League Two success at the Eco-Power Stadium. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Levi Sutton believes that Harrogate Town’s recent upturn in fortunes owes much to the solid foundations provided by their new-look defence.

The Sulphurites climbed two places to 19th in the League Two standings and nine points clear of the relegation zone after beating Doncaster Rovers 2-0 on Tuesday night, a result which means that they have now lost just one of their last seven matches.

That improved run of form has coincided with manager Simon Weaver deploying a back-four comprised entirely of signings made during the January transfer window, plus the return of Mark Oxley between the sticks.

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Having had chance to gel, Oxley, Toby Sims, Anthony O’Connor, Tom Eastman and Matty Foulds have helped Town keep three clean-sheets in the space of just five matches, and fellow January arrival Sutton insists that the faith they have in those behind them provides Harrogate’s more offensively-minded players with greater belief.

Levi Sutton joined Harrogate Town from Yorkshire rivals Bradford City in January.Levi Sutton joined Harrogate Town from Yorkshire rivals Bradford City in January.
Levi Sutton joined Harrogate Town from Yorkshire rivals Bradford City in January.

"The foundations have been built on being strong defensively and then you know that you only need to nick a goal and you’ve won the game,” the former Bradford City midfielder told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"When I’m looking behind me, I’m thinking that we are going to keep clean-sheets, which kind of takes the pressure off really.

"You could see with the chance Doncaster had in the second half on Tuesday night, when that ball came in, lads were putting bodies on the line for the cause.

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"Then you are just looking for your forwards to produce and they did produce on Tuesday night with the late goals.

"We’ve been feeling confident because we’ve produced a number of good performances recently, it was just about turning them into wins and we have finally done that. Hopefully we can carry this into the weekend and get another one at Crawley.”

Saturday’s match at second-from-bottom Crawley is a big one for both clubs, given the context of the battle for survival at the wrong end of League Two.

Victory for Town would move them 12 points clear of the Red Devils, though a win for Scott Lindsey’s men would leave them just six points behind Harrogate with two games in hand.

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Sutton, however, says that the Sulphurites are confident of doing the business once again provided that they apply themselves in the same way they did at Doncaster in midweek.

"We know it’s a big game at Crawley,” he added.

"I think these matches are always the toughest ones when you are coming up against teams who are in and around you.

"So we have just got to go into it with the same attitude that we showed at Doncaster, put a shift in, and I’m sure that we can get a result.”