Phil Yelland takes a look back over the years at how The Bluebirds have got on during previous visits to Harrogate Town.
We could certainly do with a change of fortune in Harrogate as we go into Saturday’s visit never having won there in regulation time in 13 visits.
Last season was arguably our first real challenge with COVID-19 as Manager David Dunn and assistant Rob Kelly were isolating, so Sam Hird took charge of the team that went down to the only goal of the game, one in which Lewis Hardcastle limped off.
We did, however, win on our first visit on penalties in the UniBond Chairman’s Cup Final back 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. However, in December it was Town who ended our 100% home record when they snatched a point at Holker Street – Andy Cook again getting our goal
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 Jordan Williams (now with TNS in Wales) and Richie Bennett, who joined League Two newcomers Sutton United in the summer. However, 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, who joined York City from Wrexham in the summer, and one each for Lindon Meikle (who is now with Tamworth) and Harry Panyiotou who, having been with Aldershot Town, signed for Scottish side Livingston recently.
So, 13 games played in North Yorkshire – six draws and seven defeats. Will it be 14th time lucky?