Harrogate Town goalkeeper James Belshaw wants a strong finish to their season to ensure their play offs spot. Town need four points from their last three games to guarantee their top seven spot. Belshaw’s side travel to league leaders Leyton Orient on Good Friday and hope to take a big step to the playoffs. Speaking to Harrogate Advertiser “it’s not a given that we will finish in the playoff places. We’ll go at these games all guns blazing”.
- Sit 6th on 71 points – five point gap to 8th position
- Only won one of their last six games – W1 D2 L3
- Not lost back to back games since December
- League Record – P43 W20 D11 L12 F75 A53
Town travel to the Captial looking to bounce back from last weekend’s1-0 home defeat to Boreham Wood. Tom Champion’s ninth minute header was the only difference between the sides. Manager Simon Weaver was left disappointed by his sides performance, stating to Harrogatetownafc.com “I don’t think we did enough today. They performed to their game plan with strong physical athletes. We didn’t make the overload work down the sides against a three man defence. Those were the areas we need to exploit and we didn’t show enough capability today”.
Harrogate are somewhat a surprise package in the top seven after their promotion last season from National League North. The Yorkshire side have been in contention for the majority of the season and Belshaw wants his side to end the season with some form. Despite their disappointing performance last week, the 28 year old is upbeat for the last couple of games. Speaking to Harrogate Advertiser “we don’t just want to finish in the top seven by default, we want to be there on merit by getting some results from our last three games. We need that momentum as well. Just making the play offs isn’t enough. We want to go on from there and get promoted”.
Town drew a blank for only the seventh time this season against Boreham Wood and Weaver felt his side didn’t react from falling behind. Weaver’s side have the best attack in the National League but failed to create an opening to draw level. Speaking to harrogatetownafc.com “they earned the right to be in a lead, I don’t think we responded well enough on the ball. We were blunt today and didn’t hold the ball up today when we had to”.
- Top Scorers in National League with 75 goals
- Scored in two of their last four games
- Failed to score in three of their last six games
- Scored two or more goals in 23/43 league games
- Scored in nine of their last ten away games – three of last seven
With three games over eight days to end the season, Weaver was looking to reflect with his side and bounce back at Orient on Friday. The O’s beat Harrogate in the reverse fixture back in September and the 41 year old feels there is no better place to get back to winning ways. Speaking to harrogatetownafc.com “100% we will dust ourselves down, it is disappointing to lose any game. Today it wasn’t to be, we have to reflect on all the good days and we have to squeeze every last drop out of what we have got in there. We go again next week, great surroundings at Leyton Orient”.
- Kept 11 league clean sheets (six away)
- Without a clean sheet in last six games – Conceded eight goals
- Three clean sheets in last nine games
- No clean sheet in last three away games
- Kept two in last five away games – two in last 14 away games
- Conceded two or more in 19/43 league games
Despite just one win in their last five games, Belshaw highlighted the mood is upbeat in the dressing room and they are all excited of their visit to the O’s. The 28 year old has played in every league game this season and stated to Harrogate Advertiser “this is the sort of game you want to be involved in, going to a place like Leyton Orient with their stadium and set up. If you’re not excited as a player at the prospect of a fixture like this then you’re in the wrong business”.
- Scored 48/75 league goals in second half – most in National League
- Scored 20 league goals between 46-60 minutes – most in league
- Five of their last seven goals have been in second half
Town have only won two of their ten games against the current top seven but will hoping that changes on Friday. Belshaw hints his side relish the underdog tag and feels his side could upset the league leaders. Speaking to Harrogate Advertiser “they need the three points so we know they will attack us but we need the points just as badly. It should make for a really good game. The bookies make Orient favourites but we don’t mind being underdogs. Either way, we are still going there with a game and to try and win the game”.
- Away League Record – P21 W10 D5 L6 F36 A26
- Only Orient (40) and Solihull (38) have taken more points away
- Unbeaten in last two away
- Only lost one of their last seven away games – W5 D1 L1
- Taken just four points from possible 18 in away games against top nine teams
Lloyd Kerry and Jack Emett look set to return after missing last weekend’s defeat to Boreham Wood. Center back pairing Callum Howe and Kelvin Langmead will be looking to add to their 12 goals between them. Jack Muldoon should lead the line in attack.
Head to Head
Last Meeting – 22/09/2018 – Harrogate 0-3 Leyton Orient
Last Time Out – 13/04/2019 Harrogate 0-1 Boreham Wood
Prediction – Leyton Orient 3-2 Harrogate