Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver is relishing the challenge at the top of the National League. Town host 3rd placed Leyton Orient on Saturday before 2nd placed Wrexham visit on Tuesday night. Weaver’s men have started where they left off last season and face the only other unbeaten side in the division in Orient. Speaking to BBC Radio York Weaver stated “they are really good fixtures to look forward to, we’re all excited by the challenge. The team are nicely poised at the minute”
- Sit 1st on 25 points
- League record – P11 W7 D4 F24 A10
- Seven wins in their last eight games
Town maintained top spot with their fourth win on the spin last time out in a 2-0 win at Maidstone. Callum Howe nodded the away side in front before Jack Muldoon slotted home the second. Weaver described the victory to harrogateadvertiser as “probably our best away performance this season so far”.
Harrogate gained promotion through the play offs last season and have continued their form into this season. Despite sitting in top spot, Weaver is keeping his side grounded, speaking to BBC Radio York “ I don’t think there is any pressure on us at all, we’re not expected to be up there. We know what we need to stay in the division and that has got to be our main aim for first year. We are enjoying the battle and challenges of the transition, once we hit that target we will relax and play more”
- Kept five league clean sheets – two at home
- Only Fylde (6) and Wrexham (7) have kept more this season
- One clean sheet in their last three games
- Five clean sheets in their last nine home matches
Harrogate only made a few additions in the summer with Weaver giving a chance to the players that secured the promotion. The 40 year old is massively proud of the players unity and attitude so far this season. Speaking to harrogatetownafc.co.uk “the lads have been a credit to themselves, attitude has been spot on and they have probably surprised themselves by the way they have come of the blocks”. He added “all the players in the squad are capable of achieving really good things. It’s a big step up, we are overjoyed with the commitment every game, we are not carrying any passengers and hopefully it will continue”.
Town have been goal crazy once more this season and are the league highest scorers. After netting 100 league goals last season, Weaver’s men are well on their way to completing the feet once more. A pleasing aspect for him is the different manner his side are scoring goals. Speaking to harrogatetownafc.co.uk “the are different types of goals, set play, good from lads who are all attacking good areas and making a difference in the box. Second goal Jack Muldoon with the finish”.
- Only failed to score in one game this season
- Scored in their last four games
- Scored two or more goals in 9/11 league matches this term
- Scored 66% of their goals in the second half (16/24) – most in league
It’s a massive week for Harrogate hosting the two biggest sides in the National League and Weaver knows it will be one hell of a battle against Orient tomorrow. Weaver used to watch O’s manager Justin Edinburgh as a kid and is fully aware of what the O’s are about. Speaking to BBC Radio York “he’s got them well organised, they needed that after last season and we can see it’s going to be a real battle Saturday”.
- Home League Record – P5 W4 A1 F14 A5
- Only Orient (14) have taken more points at home
- Unbeaten in their last 10 home games (includes play offs) – W9 D1 F31 A7
- One lost one of their last 23 home league games – W18 D4 L1
It will be the first meeting between the sides on Saturday with Weaver quick to highlight where the game could be won or lost. Speaking to BBC Radio York “Two outfits with pretty similar shapes. The Individual battle all over the pitch we will be trying to come out on top. They have good quality if you allow them time, we are hoping not to give them much time. Their unbeaten, we’re unbeaten. It’s one battle we are all going to relish.
Josh Falkingham is back in contention after recovering from injury but Weaver could name the same squad for the third consecutive match. Defender Callum Howe will be hoping to add to his four goals this season and has netted in the last two games.
Last Time Out – 2-0 vs Maidstone
Prediction – Harrogate 2-2 Leyton Orient