Worcester City preview: Ex-Premier League stars set to face Harrogate Town

Two former Premier League players could spearhead Worcester City’s attack as Harrogate Town bid to put their FA Cup disappointment behind them at the CNG Stadium on Saturday. Ross Kennerley looks ahead to the fixture on Saturday.

Friday, 30th October 2015, 3:08 pm
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Harrogate Town v Worcester City

After tasting the bitter disappointment of being knocked out of the FA Cup, Harrogate Town face a struggling Worcester City side at the CNG Stadium this Saturday.

A win at home in the National League North would be the perfect tonic for Simon Weaver’s men after Grimsby Town ended their FA Cup dream last weekend.

Based on league position alone, it would seem Town have been presented the perfect fixture with Worcester having only won three matches in the league this season.

However, they face a team in confident mood having secured their place in the first round of the FA Cup last weekend,

In-form striker Deon Burton scored a brace as Worcester knocked out Vanarama National League side Gateshead 2-1 on the road last week.

The victory prolonged the West Midlanders unbeaten streak having only lost one of their last eight games in all competitions.

Lee Hughes in action for Worcester City

Twelve months at Worcester City

Worcester had a memorable run in the FA Cup last season as they produced one of the shocks of the first round, knocking out Coventry City 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena. This was followed with a 1-1 draw in the second round at Scunthorpe United, with City eventually bowing out on penalties at home in the replay. This time they face another League One side Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in another tough draw where they’ll be hoping to repeat last year’s heroics.

In the Vanarama Conference North, Carl Heeley guided the club to a ninth-placed finish.

Worcester City finished last season in ninth place on 60 points in a season where FA Cup heroics took centre stage.

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County man Deon Burton scored twice in the FA Cup last week

Having managed to add to the squad of last year with Premier League experience they will be hoping this season sees an improvement on ninth position.

However, this season has seen a decline in league position with Worcester currently wallowing in 18th place.

An FA Cup replay against Solihull Moors prior to the league loss to Nuneaton Town may have had an effect on that result but City have had a week to prepare for this game and are in need of a result to kick-start their league season.

Manager: Carl Heeley

Having turned out 536 times for the club, Heeley was appointed Manager in January 2010, having previously been the assistant manager.

With over 270 games as manager and assistant, Heeley has represented the club in over 800 games. He began his career with the club as a centre-half in 1994 when playing under then manager George Rooney while also going to captain the side to their last piece of silverware, the Southern League Cup in 2001.

Highly respected around the club, Heeley was awarded Vanarama Manager of the Month for November 2014.

City’s Last five results

Gateshead 1-2 Worcester City (Cup)

Worcester City 0-1 Nuneaton

Worcester City 1-0 Solihull Moors (Cup)

Solihull Moors 1-1 Worcester City (Cup)

FC United of Manchester 0-2 Worcester City

Key men: Deon Burton and Lee Hughes

Worcester City boast two former Premier League strikers in their ranks in Deon Burton and Lee Hughes.

Burton reached the heights of the Premier League with Derby County and Hughes the same with West Bromwich Albion.

Both strikers are now 39 years old but have proved that class is permanent by continuing to score goals for their current clubs.

Hughes has seven goals in his last nine games while Burton scored two goals in their most recent win over Gateshead.