Alfreton Town v Harrogate Town

Alfreton Town v Harrogate Town

Thursday Oct 26, 2017

Alfreton Town will be looking to build on last week's 3-2 win at Tamworth when table toppers Harrogate Town visit the Impact Arena for a Vanarama National League North fixture this coming Saturday, kick off 3pm.

The league leaders have taken 33 points from their fourteen league games, having only tasted defeat once, whilst the Reds lie only three points from the play-off places.

We welcome back former Red's players, Terry Kennedy and Joe Leesley.

The Reds will be full of renewed confidence after the 3-2 win at Tamworth last Saturday, a result which ended a run of three straight defeats in all competitions and propelled the Reds right back into the mix.  

Last week Harrogate were held to a 2-2 draw at home to improving Leamington. The visitors taking the lead through Junior English after 24 minutes. The lead lasted eleven minutes before George Thomson drew the hosts level. Harrogate took the lead after 57 minutes when Junior English headed into his own net after a cross from former Red Joe Leesley.  With Town seemingly in control the referee awarded a penalty to Leamington for a high challenge, allowing Rob Thompson-Brown to level from the spot.

The Harrogate side was: Belshaw, Vann, O'Hanlon, Kennedy, Burrell, Agnew, Thomson, Emmett, Leesley, Nelson, Thewlis.

Subs: Curry, Middleton, Cracknell, Burdett, Goodo

Last season saw us gain a 1-0 win over Town at the Impact Arena with a 33rd minute goal from Dan Bradley. Harrogate gained revenge in the return fixture with a 6-3 win, our goals coming from Matk Shelton, Paul Clayton and a Craig Westcarr penalty. Simon Ainge (currently sidelined through injury) bagged four goals for Harrogate that day.

Bill Draper's memory bank recalls the first season the clubs met in our Northern Counties East League Championship winning season of 1986/87 when we beat them away 3-0 in our fifth game of the season with goals from Denis Jenas, Jon Whiteley and a Parker own goal at Wetherby Road.

The retun fixture wasn't played until the final game of the season on the 9th of May 1987. We needed to beat them to pull three points clear of Farsley Celtic, who bizarrely still had a game in hand.

In the event a brace from Trevor Jones edged us through 2-1 and with Farsley needing to beat North Ferriby by double figures to catch us, the championship trophy and medals were prematurely awarded to us after the game.

Alfreton Town 1986/87: Ken Shaw, Lawson Benjamin, Phil Blake, Trevor Jones, John Shirt, Colin Prophett, Jon Whiteley, Dave Wilton, Kevin O'Kane, Denis Jenas, Phil Greaves

Sub not used: Mark Jones

Another little oddity about that season under Sean Egan was that, despite winning the title, we were only awarded one penalty in all league and cup games. This came in the penultimate match, which was won 4-0 at Sutton Town.

Reds Boss John McDermott:

"It's a great game for us on Saturday, Harrogate sit top and it's a good chance for us to see where we are. They have had great investment and they are top and they have deserved it. They are a excellent full time club with lots of quality players and we have to give credit to the job they have done so far, not just the players but the staff as well."

"It will be a tough game, they are the league leaders but we are relishing coming up against them, it will be a game where both sides have quality players and we are good friends off the pitch also, it will be good to see some familar faces again."

"We are confident, we have made a reasonable start to the season, we have brought in quality players and we will have renewed confidence after our win at Tamworth which has got us right back in the mix. I was happy for the lads that we bounced back and it's about applying it into the next game now."

"It will be a great game, two sides that play good football, they will want to stay top and we will want to get a big result and keep pushing. We are excited for the game."


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