Preview of Saturday’s football action

Harrogate Town travel to Chorley on Saturday
Harrogate Town travel to Chorley on Saturday

Harrogate Town travel to Chorley on Saturday as they look to keep pace with National League North leaders AFC Fylde.

Victory for the division’s second-placed team will take them level on points with the early pacesetters, should the Lancashire side lose on the road at Kidderminster.

Town face a tough test, however, with Chorley currently sat in fifth position and unbeaten at home this campaign, winning four and drawing two of their first six fixtures at Victory Park.

The men from the CNG Stadium side have a big FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie with FC Halifax Town looming, but boss Simon Weaver insists that his side’s attentions are fully focused on this weekend’s league clash.

“We can’t afford to look any further ahead than Saturday’s trip to Chorley,” he said.

“As always, we’re taking things one game at a time. They’re a strong side and we know it will be tough going there.”

Boosted by their first win in 10 games at Armthorpe Welfare on Tuesday evening, Harrogate Railway host fellow strugglers Parkgate on Saturday.

Their midweek success lifted the Locomotives out of the NCEL Premier Division relegation places and was boss Paul Beesley’s first since taking over at the helm last month.

With Parkgate winless this season and second from bottom of the table having lost 10 out of 11 games in the league so far, Rail will be confident of recording back-to-back victories for the first time since August.

Tadcaster Albion are on the road at Glossop North End in the FA Trophy and manager Billy Miller is looking forward to the distraction from his side’s gruelling league campaign.

“It’s a massive game in a competition that we want to do well in, but we’re away from home against a very good side, so there’s no pressure on us at all,” he said.

“The pressure in Evo-Stik Division One North is relentless, so this is a nice distraction.

“When we were in the NCEL we were one of the bigger clubs playing the FA Vase, but now we’re playing in the lowest division that competes in the Trophy.

“There will be some big sides entering as you progress through the rounds, so it’s exciting to be involved, but again that means there isn’t any great expectation on us.

“We can’t look any further ahead than this weekend anyway. We just have to see where we stand come tea-time on Saturday.”

Knaresborough Town can go top of NCEL Division One with a victory at Eccleshill United.

Paul Stansfield’s men are up to second in the table after last Saturday’s 4-1 triumph over Grimsby Borough.

The victory was Town’s third in a week following triumphs over Brigg Town and Westella & Willerby in their previous two outings.

It extends their unbeaten run to six matches and leaves them second to leaders Penistone only on goal difference.

“We’re certainly heading in the right direction at the moment,” Stansfield said of his side’s ascent up the table.

“We’ve been playing well all season in fairness, but in recent weeks we have started being more ruthless in front of goal as well as defending better.

“I’m still not paying too much attention to the league table at this stage because if the sides below us win their games in hand then we’ll drop down a a fair few places.

“What is important is thatwe keep performing and if we can average something like two points a game like we are doing now then we’re going to do okay this season.”

Follow @HarrogateSport on Twitter for updates on this afternoon’s fixtures.