Phil Yelland takes a look back on our previous visits to Harrogate Town ahead of this weekend's game.
It’s strange to think that it’s less than 20 years since we first made the trip to play Harrogate Town at Wetherby Road and we will now be the first club to visit them at their home in the Football League.
We could certainly do with a change of fortunes on the North Yorkshire ground as we go into Saturday’s game, never having won there in regulation time in 12 visits.
However, we did win on our first visit on penalties in the UniBond Chairman’s Cup Final in April 2001. We were in the Premier Division whilst Town were in Division One and the game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, Grant Holt with our goal.
The penalty shootout saw popular keeper Simon Bishop save Town’s first three penalties, as Lee Ellison, Lee Warren and Scott Maxfield stepped up to score our first three to claim the Cup. The travelling fans enjoyed that.
In April 2007 we were fighting relegation from Conference North and we rescued an unlikely point in another April trip to Wetherby Road, thanks to a goal by Nick Rogan.
When we won the National League North title in 2015, we travelled to North Yorkshire in August and came away with a point thanks to two Andy Cook goals. In the following December it was Town who put ended our 100% home record when they snatched a point.
Our most recent draw at Town came in the FA Trophy First Round in December 2016. We led 2-0 early in the game, with goals from current Stockport County pair Jordan Williams and Richie Bennett, but we needed a second Bennett goal to rescue a draw late on.
For the record, we won the replay 4-2 after extra time with some very different scorers – there was a double for Akil Wright, while Lindon Meikle and Harry Panyiotou were also on target.
As everyone will know, our scheduled visit to Wetherby Road last season fell victim to the pandemic, so our last visit was at the end of October 2018 when we lost 4-2. We scored first and last in the game, through John Rooney and Tyler Smith, in what turned out to be Andy Firth’s last league game in goal for us before his move to Glasgow Rangers the following January.
So, 12 games played in North Yorkshire – six draws and six defeats, 19 goals scored and 27 conceded. Time for a win.