Weaver predicting ‘passionate’ game in Worcester

NADV 1208211AM10 Harrogate Town V Altrincham. Town's Chib Chilaka  (1208211AM10)
NADV 1208211AM10 Harrogate Town V Altrincham. Town's Chib Chilaka (1208211AM10)

Harrogate Town hit the road to Worcester City on Saturday, with boss Simon Weaver predicting ‘a passionate’ game (3pm).

Honours have been shared fairly evenly over the years, Worcester winning both games last season and Town both the campaign before, with two 3-2 scorelines involved.

But the Town gaffer is steeling his troops for another fiery Blue Square North encounter.

“It’ll be really difficult and they’re usually pretty passionate games,” said Weaver.

“I know Carl the manager, and we get on well but when the whistle blows it’s game on. After the match we have a beer but while it’s on, it’s very competitive.

“Their lad upfront, Symons, has a real turn of pace and can be a handful, but Alan White and Shane Killock will do a good job and keep him quiet.

“We just need to keep our game plan simple, bring it in if we lose possession and not gamble too much.

“We need to be resilient, gritty and street-wise.”

Weaver is looking to potentially add to his squad before the game, as Paul Bolland is out with a knee injury. But striker Paul Beesley is not too far off a return and ‘keeper Jose Veiga available after a concussion.

Weaver faces a selection headache after stand-in ‘keeper Craig McGillivray impressed at West Auckland Town last Saturday.

“Craig pulled off a great save early on and he had a great game, so it’s a question of keeping faith with him or sticking with the more experienced ‘keeper,” said Weaver.

Two Chib Chilaka goals shot Town into a 2-0 lead at West Auckland as Town looked poised to sail into the third qualifying round against Ilkley.

But a questionable penalty opened the door and West Auckland snatched a late equaliser to push the tie to a replay.

That was rained off on Tuesday, and will be attempted again this Tuesday, taking precedence over the scheduled hosting of Colwyn Bay.

“Tuesday was frustrating as the pitch was holding up really well until midday, and then it just hammered down and there was too much surface water,” said Weaver.

“Our groundsman Jim was on it forking it all day but it just proved impossible. We really wanted to play and get through to the next round against Frickley

“We didn’t have a great start on Saturday, but Chib scored two great goals. Then a daft penalty was given and that invited them in for a late onslaught.

“But next Tuesday, we’ll be working to get it right and get through.”