Harrogate Town (A) match preview:

Harrogate Town v Tranmere Rovers

English Football League Two

@Wetherby Road     

K.O Time – 7pm

A few days on from Mike Jackson’s dismissal from his role as Tranmere manager, the ‘whites’ travel to the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate for their second meeting against the ‘Sulphurites’ so far this season. It’s set to be an interesting fixture, Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson will take interim charge of Tranmere as Rovers continue the search of starting a new era with a yet to be appointed manager. The Tranmere faithful will be hoping for an improved performance from their side after a poor run of league results, they have lost 4 out of their last 5 league encounters. However, facing Harrogate away from home isn’t the best of fixtures if you are wanting to turn your fates around.

This Tuesday, centre-half Manny Monthe and forward Kaiyne Woolery are available for selection. Recently, Monthe has struggled with a knee problem however he played all of the minutes throughout the weekends fixture and has come through those minutes unscathed. Woolery played 70 minutes on Saturday and also came through unharmed. It is beneficial to the interim managers that these players are available. 

Centre-half Mark Ellis is doubtful to start the encounter against Harrogate. The defender picked up a knock in the 4-0 hammering away to Crawley Town.

Forwards Stefan Payne and Morgan Ferrier are unavailable for selection. Payne is recovering from a recent groin operation and Ferrier is struggling with a hamstring issue.

Harrogate have had a very successful few years, since the 2017/18 season they have been promoted twice going from the national league north to the football league. As little as twenty years ago, they competed in the Northern Premier League which is the seventh tier. Last season saw Harrogate earn two trips to London, to play at Wembley Stadium. One game resulted in promotion to the football league, following a victory against Notts County. However, due to the COVID restrictions they are still unable to play their other Wembley Stadium fixture in the FA Trophy final against Concord Rangers. Following their promotion, they have started life in the football league in a great manner. They have so far played ten league two fixtures, winning four and spreading the other results evenly across draws and defeats. In the EFL Cup they beat Tranmere on penalties to set up a tie against West Brom. The ‘baggies’ were able to beat Harrogate 3-0 however Harrogate had better luck against premier league opposition in the EFL Trophy. They drew 2-2 at Grimsby before beating Leicester City 3-1. On the weekend, Newport County were able to defeat Harrogate 2-1 in South Wales. ‘Sulphurites’ star man and captain Josh Falkingham saw himself get sent off after receiving two yellow cards, he will be a great miss in the upcoming midweek league encounter for the hosts. Simon Weaver’s side beat Southend United 4-0 on the road to start the season off in a great fashion before going on a run of victories against Bradford, Barrow and Grimsby. Tranmere’s defence must keep an eye on forward Jack Muldoon who has eight goal involvements in ten fixtures so far this season; six goals and two assists.

From my understanding, Tranmere have only met Harrogate on one occasion before this week’s fixture. That occasion was an EFL Cup tie two months ago. The game resulted in a 1-1 draw and it thus went to penalties. Harrogate won 8-7 on penalties to end Tranmere’s EFL Cup run at the first round.

Played – 1

Won – 0

Draw – 0

Loss – 1 (after penalties)

Predictions:

Team; Davies, O’Connor, Clarke, Monthe, Macdonald, Spearing, Young, Lewis, Feeney, Vaughan, Blackett-Taylor.

Result; Harrogate Town 1 Tranmere Rovers 2 

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