How important Harrogate win could prove to be

On Boxing Day we picked up a huge win at home to Harrogate Town and everything suddenly looks different.

Let’s not get carried away it is only three points, but it is amazing how one win can change everything in just two hours.

After last Saturday’s defeat at Gainsborough Trinity, everything was doom and gloom. You could see why as well a very poor performance against another relegation rival meant we were just one point off the bottom three.

Despite some encouraging performances, Tommy Wright and Alan White hadn’t been able to turn our results around, with one draw from six games. Disastrous form for any club in any situation.

With a double header against second placed Harrogate followed by games with York and Salford, it looked like it was a guaranteed to get worse before it got better.

Thankfully though, football surprises you when you least expect it. We started with four at the back and looked a different side.

Harrogate were a team who despite sitting second in the table, haven’t actually been in that good form in the league in the last few months. Regardless, for 60/70 minutes of the match, we looked the better side.
The fans played a big part, as Tommy said in his post match interview the crowd were behind the players from the word go and he helped us in the first ten minutes. Apart from one chance following an error by Talbot in goal, Harrogate failed to create much while we looked comfortable for most of the first half.

The defence looked a lot more solid than in recent weeks, Josh Heaton showed how important a player he could be. While Dom Collins continued to impress. In the first few games of the season, I have to admit I didn’t think he looked up to the task, but now he is the first defender when fit on the teamsheet.

Thommo who looks like a man possessed under the new management continued to impress winning the first penalty. While, despite the nature of the two goals, Reece Styche showed again what he can bring to the team and how much of an impact he could have on our season.

Despite the control we had on the game, there was a period when we in trouble. Styche went off and was replaced by Harvey Saunders. The youngster has many qualities, but he can’t play the same role as Styche. The ball kept coming back and suddenly we started soaking up a lot of pressure, after their first goal it kept coming. If I’m honest I expected a further change from Tommy, as the way it was going I could not see us holding out for the win.

Thankfully a bad tackle leading to Harrogate’s first red card took all the pressure off us and Saunders was able to win another penalty, as Thommo sealed a huge win.

The win was a relief for all involved in the club. Defeat would have left us second bottom in the table, with three tough games next to come and it would all look doom and gloom.

Suddenly, after the performance and result, we look like a side that could get something out of the next few games. Another couple of good results and we will be able to pull ourselves away from danger.

It’s important not to get carried away it is still only one win. We could easily lose the next three and find ourselves in the relegation places.

However, if nothing else Boxing Day shows that our squad is good enough to compete with those near the top of the league and if they continue to show that we will be fine come April.

Bring on 2018.





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