Harrogate Railway have a 'massive incentive' to go out and beat promotion rivals Brigg Town

Harrogate Railway have a “massive incentive” to go out and beat NCEL Division One promotion rivals Brigg Town this Saturday.

By Rhys Howell
Friday, 11th March 2022, 6:06 pm
Harrogate Railway manager Mick O'Connell. Picture: Gerard Binks
Harrogate Railway manager Mick O'Connell. Picture: Gerard Binks

The Starbeck club currently sit fourth in the table, but travel to Lincolnshire knowing that victory over the Zebras will see them leapfrog their hosts into third place.

And Rail boss Mick O’Connell is adamant that final league position is crucial when it comes to the end-of-season play-offs.

“Our aim this season is to make the play-offs and if you had offered us fourth place a few weeks back we would have snapped your hand off,” he said.

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“Last month, we set ourselves a target of trying to catch Brigg but I wasn’t really sure we’d be able to do it because of how far in front of us they were.

“They’ve lost three in a row though so now there’s a massive incentive for us to go there and get a win because if we do so then we know we move above them.

“Finishing third is huge in terms of the play-offs because it gives you a home tie for your semi-final and the stats say we don’t lose many at home. For me, being at home would be almost the same as kicking-off the match 1-0 up.

“It’s in our own hands now, so it makes Saturday our biggest game of the season. If we can get above Brigg in the table this weekend and then make sure we don’t drop too many points in our last six games, then I’m confident we can hold onto third, which like I say, would be massive for us.”

As for the challenge awaiting his players at the weekend, O'Connell added: “There might not be a better time to play Brigg given that they have taken no points from the last nine on offer.

“But, on the other hand you don’t know if we are going to end up on the end of a reaction from them.

“We know they’re a very good side. They’re big, strong and physical but also have the ability to play as well.

“But we’ve just got to focus on what we are doing. We want to go there and try and quieten the crowd, make sure we defend properly so that we can stay in the game and then look to hurt them with our quality going forwards.”

Railway’s scheduled clash with Rossington Main was called off last weekend due to the Station View pitch being waterlogged.

That postponement leaves the club needing to play their seven remaining regular-season fixtures in the space of just 22 days.