Port Vale v Harrogate Town: James Belshaw and Brendan Kiernan could start against Valiants

Harrogate Town return to League Two action on Saturday when they visit in-form Port Vale.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 8:54 am
Updated Thursday, 24th September 2020, 9:06 am
Harrogate Town goalkeeper James Belshaw. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Unbeaten in their opening two fixtures since promotion to the fourth tier, Simon Weaver’s men will make the trip to Stoke-on-Trent buoyed by their FA trophy semi-final win over Notts County in midweek.

In addition, Town could be handed a further fillip with first-choice goalkeeper James Belshaw closing in on full fitness following a thumb injury.

“The signs are promising. Belly has come through his first couple of training sessions really well,” Weaver said.

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Brendan Kiernan on the run during Town's FA Trophy semi-final win over Notts County.

“He’s looked fine and there’s an outside chance he could play at Port Vale. But the excellent form of Joe [Cracknell] between the sticks means that we’re under no pressure to rush him back before we know he’s 100 per cent ready.”

Meanwhile, Weaver has confirmed that Brendan Kiernan is in with a chance of starting Saturday’s game on the left wing having impressed on his return to the side at Notts County.

“Brendan warranted his start on Tuesday and did more than enough to suggest that he can do a job for us on the left of midfield this weekend,” the Harrogate boss added.

"He's a big talent. I like him a lot, he comes in every day with that big smile on his face.

"He was outstanding at times last season and he came back for pre-season and has absolutely gone for it."

Town's Trophy victory in midweek means that they have now lost just twice in their last 22 competitive outings, winning 15 of those matches.

Vale are however also in decent form themselves. John Askey's men have emerged triumphant from their opening two League Two fixtures, beating Crawley and Exeter, while they ended 2019/20 undefeated in eight.