Have Harrogate Town become overly reliant on the goals of Jack Muldoon?

Naturally, every team has a player who scores more regularly than anyone else, but are Harrogate Town becoming overly reliant on Jack Muldoon?

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 6:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 7:15 pm
Jack Muldoon celebrates the second of his two strikes during Harrogate Town’s 2-1 win at Grimsby. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites’ leading marksman has eight goals to his name this term, a significantly greater total than anybody else in Simon Weaver’s squad.

Aaron Martin and Lloyd Kerry have both netted three, but all bar one of those strikes arrived during the early stages of the season, at a time where points and victories were coming a lot more easily than they have in recent weeks.

When Town drew a blank against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, it was the third time in six League Two matches to be played at Wetherby Road in which they’ve failed to register.

Jack Muldoon rifles home his eighth goal of the season. It came in Town's recent defeat at the hands of Scunthorpe United.

If you include cup games – barring the 4-1 victory over Skelmersdale United, which I’m discounting due to the caliber of the opposition – they’ve finished goalless in five out of the eight fixtures hosted by the EnviroVent Stadium.

Of the four goals Harrogate have scored on home soil since they left their temporary base at the Keepmoat Stadium, Muldoon has bagged three of them.

This got me on to wondering whether the 31-year-old attacker is carrying too much weight on his shoulders. Further consideration highlighted even more interesting statistics.

Look at the five games that Weaver’s men have won in League Two this term. Only one of those came at home, and it was Muldoon who netted the decisive goal in a 1-0 victory over Barrow.

Four have been achieved on the road, the first of which was on the opening day of 2020/21, a 4-0 rout of Southend United. Muldoon hit two on that occasion.

He also bagged a brace to fire his team to their 2-1 triumph over Grimsby.

Harrogate’s other two successes in the league came at Bradford City and Mansfield. Both games finished 1-0. Did Muldoon net both of these goals as well? No, but he set both of them up.

His contribution cannot be understated. It’s almost at the point now where if he doesn’t score in a home game, then the likelihood is that Town will finish the contest with another nil in the ‘goals scored’ column.

It’s not to say that any of the club’s other forwards haven’t made any contribution at all.

Martin has scored a few and produced a number of excellent performances, while Mark Beck and Jon Stead have also fared well in a couple of games.

A lot of their hold-up and link-up play has been decent. They all compete very well in the air and nobody can question their work-rate.

It’s just a case of sharing that goal-scoring burden, something which Town’s midfielders, and particularly their widemen also need to help out with.

And, the sooner the better if the club's slide down the table is to be arrested.