Rivals ready to cross swords

NADV1107302 Railway Ath. V H'gate Town. (1107302AM)
NADV1107302 Railway Ath. V H'gate Town. (1107302AM)

The annual John Smith’s Cup will take place next week- which means the competitive football season is just around the corner.

Harrogate Town will make the short trip to Harrogate Railway on Wednesday night (7.45pm ko) desperate to take local bragging rights over their close rivals.

One man who knows all about the fixture is Rail’ assistant boss Lee Ashforth.

He played in goal for Rail’ in two cup clashes when Martin Haresign was in charge at Station View and knows the importance of the fixture.

“I think we lost twice narrowly,” he said.

“It’s never good when you’re in goal and a good few hundred are watching. We’re really looking forward to the game this time.”

Rail’ will continue their pre-season with the visit of West Yorkshire Premier side Leeds City on Saturday.

This comes four days after their 1-1 draw away at Northern Counties outfit Askern Villa.

Town, meanwhile are also busy this weekend.They jet out to Belfast on Saturday morning to take on Northern Irish giants Crusaders.The team bonding mission is an exciting one for boss Simon Weaver.

Weaver will take a strong side for the fixture.

New signing Adam Bolder won’t after signing for the Wetherby Roaders last week.

But the former Derby County midfielder is a real coup for the club and will be an instant replacement for Kris Gate who decided not to join Town from Gateshead. Bold made his debut in Tuesday’s 5-0 victory over Tadcaster Albion.

“I doubt there will be a better midfielder in the league this season,” said Town number two John McDermott.

“He just brings an extra dimension to the team and I think he’ll bring something to the league too.”

‘Macca’ was delighted with Town’s display at Taddy. Three local Harrogate lads were on the scoresheet.

Paul Beesley grabbed a brace, as did Robbie Youhill. Exciting youngster Josh Garbutt the other.

“Paul was fuming he didn’t get on on Saturday,” said McDermott, Town travelled to Ossett Albion at the weekend and drew 2-2.

“But he scored two great goals. Robbie was great too.

“We put him on up front. Maybe we’ve found a new position for him.”

As for the Rail’ fixture, McDermott is licking his lips.

“It’s a local derby and we’ll treat it like it is, we’ll be putting out our strongest side,” he added.For an in-depth chat with ‘Macca’ see the Harrogate Advertiser website.