From the Terraces: Bromley clash was a roller coaster of emotions for Harrogate Town fans

Harrogate Town supporter Dave Worton’s view on the 2019/20 campaign

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 7:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 7:16 pm
Harrogate Town failed to hold on to a three-goal lead at Bromley. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Last week happened in such a blur that I barely had time to think about the Portsmouth match in any depth before submitting my column.

Now, having had time to muse on things a little bit more, here’s a couple of further thoughts.

It was a fantastic sight to see a packed crowd creating a Football League-type atmosphere inside the ground, but one thing had been puzzling me all week.

The fixture was announced as completely sold out prior to kick-off, with the crowd announced as 3,042 over the tannoy.

Yet something didn’t seem right, and there was an audible disappointment in the Kop when it was announced, as our official capacity is 4,000.

Even taking into account the small ‘no man’s land’ in the Wetherby Road stand and the area cordoned off for the BT Sport cameras, I was wondering what had happened to the missing few hundred.

Two years ago, 3,000 had crammed happily into the ground, when York City were the visitors, and this was before the three new stands we have now were even built.

Well now the mystery has been solved. It turns out that the crowd figure was actually announced wrongly over the PA and the official figure was a very healthy 3,402.

I think we can all agree that Mark Beck had a great match, but one of the reasons I think he had so much joy in the aerial battles was due to the lack of shirt holding and arm wrestling from the Portsmouth defence.

It was something that was really refreshing to witness, having seen so much of it in the National League.

An early push in the back on our big target man was penalised by the referee and I wonder whether this contributed to the way he was treated.

Even so, Portsmouth played it fair and in good spirit throughout, while it was also a pleasant change to witness a decent referee in full control of the game, as opposed to some of the shocking officials we’ve seen down at Wetherby Road in recent times.

The National League really needs to start clamping down on shirt pulling, but I won’t hold my breath.

Although Town may have been eliminated from the cup, I do have news of success for another Harrogate team last week.

St. Aidan’s under-16 girls’ team, complete with my daughter Molly in defence, made the short trip to Tadcaster Grammar and came away with a victory in the first round of their own cup competition.

The match finished 0-0 after extra-time before St. Aidan’s won 5-4in a tense penal ty shoot-out .

Molly took a ball in the face, but completed most of the match despite bleeding from a badly swollen lip, helping her team to that valuable clean-sheet in the process. Needless to say, I’m one very proud dad.

Moving on to this week, it’s fair to say that I would have taken a draw at Bromley prior to the match on Saturday. But am I happy? Well, yes and no.

I found myself in town, Christmas shopping, during the first half and couldn’t prevent myself from cheering in the Victoria Shopping Centre when I saw on Twitter that Jack Emmett had put us 1-0 up.

It’s then that my internet signal went down. I managed to arrive back at the car in time to hear Bromley equalise just before half-time on Radio York. Or so I thought.

Imagine my shock when the commentator announced the score as 3-1 to Town.

On reaching home, Molly ran out excitedly to the car with a tube of Pringles and a tin of sweets, and we settled down in the heated front seats to listen to the second half, both hopeful of a Town win.

It didn’t pan out like that, of course, as the home team threw everything but the kitchen sink at us, and our emotions ran the complete gauntlet from happy to hopeful to anxious to utterly depressed to outright relieved that we’d managed to salvage a point out of three at the league leaders’ expense.

It didn’t pan out like that, of course, as the home team threw everything but the kitchen sink at us, and our emotions ran the complete gauntlet from happy to hopeful to anxious to utterly depressed to outright relieved that we’d managed to salvage a point out of three at the league leaders’ expense.

Following this self-inflicted torture, I headed off into Leeds where I was working overnight on Moortown Roundabout.

“Your team let me down badly today,” said one of the surfacing contractors on my arrival.

I wasn’t expecting that, so I asked him why. It turns out that he’d put an accumulator bet on the outcome of six matches earlier and the Town result was the only one that had stood between himself and a large pay out. I started apologising for the fact that we let a three-goal lead slip.

“Oh no,” he clarified, “I had Bromley down to win.”

Well, what on earth could I say to that? I could have been empathetic, but no, I found myself replying, “Did you know that Bromley hit the crossbar in injury-time?”

Of course he didn’t. Talk about kicking a man while he’s down.