On the road again: Harrogate Town FC

 

 

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Harrogate Town v Aldershot Town: Warren Burrell focusing on points not goals

Harrogate Town’s Warren Burrell admits that he’d love to repeat his goal-scoring heroics of last season when Aldershot visit the CNG Stadium on Saturday, but insists that three points are the real priority.

 

The versatile 29-year-old, currently operating as a holding midfielder, netted a sensational 38-minute hat-trick from centre-half during the corresponding fixture in 2018/19, leading Simon Weaver’s team to a 4-1 success.

 

“I just managed to get myself in the right place and get on the end of a few good balls into the box against Aldershot last season. The gaffer gets on at me about needing to score more goals, and I feel that I should get more.

 

“Obviously I’d love to get on the score-sheet on Saturday, it’d be nice from a personal point of view, however what is more important is that we get another three points and keep our good run of form going.”

 

Town, unbeaten in eight matches and just a point shy of a National League play-off berth, will go into this weekend’s clash as strong favourites.

 

Their opponents sit 19th, just two places above the relegation zone having won just once in their last six outings, though Burrell says the Shots cannot be underestimated.

I TRAVEL

A few weeks back, word was don’t bother going to Harrogate by rail because the weekend will be decimated by engineering works.

That doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. There are warnings of bus replacement services on some routes but my journey, if I started out from Bournemouth for example, would be unaffected.

OUTBOUND

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There is a supporters club coach running.

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Worth going for the Wellington Burger?

One of the highlights of visiting the CNG Stadium is the catering which is provided by a local company called Burgers & More. Not only do they offer a number of gourmet burgers (£4-£4.50) and Pies (£3), but also a tasty Beef Stew (£5) and the intriguingly named Wellington Burger (£5). The latter being more of a pastry which has a filling beef, blue cheese, garlic mushrooms and red wine gravy.  Certainly, a cut above catering at most grounds and that includes the Premier League!

That however was last year’s news. A look at the menu on the HTFC website doesn’t show the Wellington Burger! depressed

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Alarmingly, there is a Harrogate edition of the board game, Monopoly.

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https://www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk/business/monopoly-launches-harrogate-edition-here-s-what-you-need-to-know-1-10055763

“Any road… on wi’ ground details…

WETHERBY ROAD aka CNG STADIUM

These are the ground admission prices.

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The CNG Stadium has seen quite a sizeable investment in its facilities and this has continued into 2019 with two new terraces and a small seated stand being erected. These works have expanded the capacity of the stadium to 4,000 with 500 seats, which meets Football League standards.

On one side is the modern looking Main Stand, which is called the Greene King IPA Family Stand. This covered seated stand comprises six rows of seating and runs for around half the length of the pitch. The view is good from this area as there are no supporting pillars or floodlight pylons to hinder your view. On the roof of this stand is a platform for television cameras. On one side of this stand is a sizeable covered terrace that is taller than the Main Stand as was opened in April 2019. It is around 15 rows high and although pre-fabricated it is fairly steep. It gives this side of the ground a unique look. Unfortunately, this terrace does have the base of a floodlight pylon located near the middle of it and the roof only extends over the back rows.

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Opposite is the Wetherby Road Terrace which is covered and is free of supporting pillars, although it does have the bases of two floodlight pylons protruding through it. On one side of this terrace (towards the 1919 Venue end of the ground) is a new small covered seated stand, which has around 150 seats in six rows. Again there is a base of a floodlight near the centre of this stand. At the Hospital End of the ground, a new covered terrace was opened in 2014, which is called the Henderson Stand. Although it has developed that area of the stadium, the terrace itself, although being practical, isn’t the most attractive of stands. At the other end, there is a small covered terrace that was also opened at Easter 2019. Although only four rows high it does have a roof and extends almost the full width of the pitch. An unusual feature is that around two thirds along this stand, almost in line with the 18 yard box, is the Player’s Tunnel, which can be extended outwards towards the pitch and retracted as needed. On one side of this terrace is the 1919 Clubhouse Venue Bar. The stadium has a set of six floodlights, three of which run down each side of the ground. In the Summer of 2016, a new 3G artificial surface was installed at the CNG Stadium.

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For most games, fans are not segregated inside allowing the traditional non-league procession of fans swapping ends at half time. If segregation is in force, then away fans are housed in the Henderson Insurance Stand at one end of the ground. This covered terrace is comprised of six steps and its low roof means that away fans can really make themselves heard.

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The only downside is that there is quite a sizeable perimeter fence running along the front of it.

It does sound a bit Barnet-esque though so be warned: don’t take any baggage with you!

STADIUM SECURITY AND SAFETY

 

All our matches are manned by fully trained SIA Security Stewards who can be easily identified by their uniform.  We have trained medics in attendance, two Defib Units on site and first aiders to attend to minor issues.

 

We would urge you not to bring bags to the stadium as we do have a Stop & Search Policy which is generally overseen by the local police outside the stadium at the turnstiles.

Record Attendance
3,000 v Brackley Town
National League North Play Off Final 13th May 2018

Average Attendance
2017-2018: 1,134 (National League North)
2016-2017: 896 (National League North)
2015-2016: 689 (National League North)

DIRECTIONS AND CAR PARKING

Leave the A1(M) at Junction 47 and take the A59 towards Knaresborough. Then take the A658 towards Bradford/Harrogate. At the second roundabout turn right onto the A661 towards Harrogate. You will pass a Sainsburys and then after the lights with the Woodlands pub on one corner, then the entrance to the ground is just a bit further down on the right. Please note that traffic can be quite congested along the A661, so you may wish to allow more time for your journey.

Car Parking
There is no parking available for supporters at the ground and to make matters worse there is a residents only parking scheme in operation on roads close to the stadium. However, there is the nearby Kingswood Surgery on Wetherby Road (HG2 7SA) which offers parking at £5. Otherwise, you will need to street parking further away or in a town centre car park, around one mile away. I have been informed that the Sainsburys Store has free parking for up to three hours, but if using this please double check any signage in the car park to ensure that this is still the case.

If arriving by train then just off Platform 1 is the Harrogate Tap that has up to 11 real ales on offer. There is a Clubhouse bar inside the ground called the ‘Nineteen Nineteen Bar’ (1919 was the year that the Club was founded) which allows in visiting fans unless crowd segregation is in force. Otherwise, the nearest pub is the Woodlands, which is a short distance back down the A661 Wetherby Road, heading away from town. About a ten minute walk in the opposite direction along the Wetherby Road (heading towards the town centre and just set back from the roundabout is the Empress which also offers food.

Using the WhatPub guide and other internet research, I offer these hostelries for Shots fans consideration.

The Little Ale House

If ever there was a bar that the reflected the dreams and ambitions of its owners, then the Little Ale House in Cheltenham Crescent is it.

Little Ale House Harrogate

Rich and Danni Park quit their jobs in London and returned to their Northern roots, bringing with them their love of micro-brewed ales and good conversation. The result is the Little Ale House which opened in May 2016.

The pair sell the products that they would want to drink. All the labels are micro-brewed and from regional brewers – North Riding in Scarborough, Magic Rock in Huddersfield, Brew York and Settle Brewery to name a few.

Little Ale House, Harrogate pub

There’s no fixed beers just a constant rotation of five cask and five keg brews, which is what makes the offering so interesting for their customers and for them, says Rich. However, there will always be a bitter, a golden ale, an IPA, a hoppy brew and a dark brew.

Ales aside, the wine selection is expanding and Rich takes his single malt whiskies very seriously. The gin is very local, coming from Harrogate Gin in Ripley and Whittaker’s in Dacre Banks.

But it’s not just about the drinks. Conversation is king in the Little Ale House which has no TV and no background music. The interior is small with a rustic and functional feel emphasised by the display behind glass doors down one wall of the casks and kegs.

Little Ale House pub in Harrogate

When Rich and Danni moved back north, they were drawn to Harrogate by the “great beer scene” and it’s fair to say that the Little Ale House is now firmly part of that scene. 

Foundry Project

Self-described as ‘the happiest place in Harrogate’ The Foundry Project on The Ginnel is bang in the town centre and benefits from a rather delicious £5 cocktail selection 3-9pm everyday. The food menu features pizzas, breakfast and some great sharing snacks plus bottomless brunch on a Saturday and Sunday.

The Foundry Project exterior view in Harrogate

Banyan, Harrogate central

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Boxlike unit bar with a raised and balustraded area down one side, a counter down the other and a hotdog sales point and kitchen against the rear wall, the front is all window and door. Furnished with an obvious mix of high and low tables and chairs in hard and soft options. There is a big pull down screen above the back wall and three big screens above the counter showing news and advertising with a couple more in the front corners. There is waitress service for food orders and each table is denoted by a small blackboard. Beer wise there are three banks of chrome fonts with Blue Moon and Ilkley MJ Pale among the standard national brand dross, cask is provided by a single pull serving a very manky Wharfebank Tether Blonde on my visit. This would probably be of no matter for the clientele as it appeared to be mainly middle aged couples and gaggles of young women, it’s their kind of place.

The Last Post

A cracker of a pub on the fiercely independent Cold Bath Road in Harrogate, The Last Post is a social h A cracker of a pub on the fiercely independent Cold Bath Road in Harrogate,

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The Last Post is a social house with craft ales, cocktails, sports and entertainment. Dog-friendly and with a loyal following, it also benefits from a slightly quieter location 5 minutes walk from the town centre. ouse with craft ales, cocktails, sports and entertainment. Dog-friendly and with a loyal following, it also benefits from a slightly quieter location 5 minutes walk from the town centre.

Major Tom’s Social

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With rustic wooden floors and a large collection of board games, Major Tom’s Social on the first floor of The Ginnel in the middle of Harrogate feels like home. Dog friendly and child friendly, with a Pacman machine, stonebaked pizzas, and a record shop, there isn’t much that this bar doesn’t get right! Well worth a visit.

The Potting Shed

It might feel like you’ve stumbled into the garden shed, but amongst the flowers, trowels and watering cans, The Potting Shed housed in the Royal Baths building in Harrogate offers a wide range of food and drinks. You can sit inside sheds, get 2 cocktails for £12 Sunday to Thursday, and watch saxophone music between 10pm and midnight on Saturdays.

Interior of The Potting Shed in Harrogate

The Alexandra

Prospect Place, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 1LB

Nicholson’s Pubs are known for their individual style, exciting stories, and charming personalities — and Alexandra is certainly no exception.

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Known for once being a 19th century hotel, we’re based in a historic, beautifully restored building. With it’s grand lounges, smoking rooms and a rear stable, Alexandra was once used as a boarding house to provide R&R for the RAF pilots in WW2. We’re even known for capturing footage of a ghost on our Facebook.

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Alexandra is the perfect place to watch the match with friends. We’ve plenty of spacious seating areas, and large screen TV’s showing Sky Sports and BT Sport, so you won’t miss a minute of the action. So, come on and soak up the great atmosphere, whilst you tuck into your favourite dishes, enjoy a refreshing pint, and generally enjoy the finer things in life in the beautiful surroundings near you.

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LAST TIME OUT

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For a West Yorkshire derby, a ridiculously poor attendance. And we think we’ve got problems! I wonder how much bigger the gate would have been had it not been an FA Cup tie.

A Mark Beck brace ensured Town progressed to the first-round proper of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in seven years.

 

Town entered the 2019/20 FA Cup in the fourth qualifying round in a Yorkshire derby contest against Halifax, a side Town defeated only three weeks ago thanks to a 90th minute winner from Beck.

Town started on the front but it was Halifax who had the first opportunity with Toby Sho-Silva breaking free. James Belshaw did well to close down the angle to force the corner which caused no threat. Brendan Kiernan was finding joy down the right flank and it was Kiernan’s delivery which brought the first goal of the game in the eighth minute. The ball in was met by Halifax defender Josh Staunton who headed against his own cross bar. Beck was first to react and smash home from close range. Town looked to assert their early dominance with some relentless pressure.

Connor Hall first tried his luck 25 yards out in the 12th minute and then only 60 seconds later, Jack Diamond headed narrowly over following a pinpoint cross from captain Josh Falkingham. Falkingham was everywhere during the first half and after the 20th minute, he played a great pass to Ryan Fallowfield who was in acres of space down the right. It looked like either Beck or Jack Muldoon would get on the end of the cut back but neither managed to get contact with the ball.

Despite Town’s control of the game, Jerome Binnom-Williams should have equalised for Halifax on the half hour mark. The left back was all alone only five yards out as a corner was whipped in, however, the defender was unable to make good contact and headed over. With five minutes to go before half-time, winger Diamond picked up the ball 30 yards out and drove at the Halifax defence. The youngster managed to beat two defenders to create space and fire at the keeper, forcing Sam Johnson to parry as far as Falkingham who couldn’t keep his strike on target.

Halifax came out for the second half with a point to prove and it only took 20 seconds for them to equalise, Niall Maher tapping in at the back post. Town were on the back foot and nearly went behind in the 48th minute after Liam Nolan should have hit the target following his diving header. Two minutes later and Halifax hit on the break and great ball by Southwell across the corridor of uncertainty nearly found a teammate. Harrogate did manage to compose themselves and they took advantage with Beck getting his second goal of the game after 54 minutes. Muldoon found space in the right side of the box, he played a low ball into Beck who hit first time across the Halifax keeper to restore Town’s lead.

Ten minutes later and the ball broke for Muldoon down the left, he pulled it back for Diamond who after moving forward a couple steps, hit a powerful strike which looked destined for the top corner. Nathan Clarke put his body on the line to deflect the effort for a corner. Sho-Silva came close for Halifax 74 minutes in after Jamie Allen put a low ball into the box. The striker fired high over the bar when he should have done better. By the 80th minute, Halifax manager Pete Wild had made all three substitutes as the home pressed for the equaliser.  Town did well to make sure the final minutes of the game stayed relatively threat free.

Harrogate now have the opportunity to face one of the big guns from the football league, with Sunderland a potential giant killing waiting to happen.

Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, W. Smith, Hall, G. Smith, Burrell, Falkingham, Kiernan (Thomson 81), Diamond, Beck, Muldoon (Stead 85). Subs not used: Cracknell, Taylor, Brown, Emmett, Bradley, Goals: Beck 8, 54 Bookings: Burrell, Fallowfield, Thomson, Diamond

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Binnom-Williams, Clarke, Nolan, Southwell (Allen 68), Sho-Silva, Staunton, McAlinden, Cooper (J King 77), Maher (Earing 79). Subs not used: Appleyard, Hanson Goals: Maher 46

Bookings: J. King Referee: A MillerAttendance: 1241 (228 away)

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A simple design I came up with although cloth banners of a decent size like 4’x6′ can cost well over fifty quid.

Shall we see how these next two games go? Right now I think there are more Searle backers than binners so there could be some unrest amongst fans should some of us turn against our boss now.

Maybe nearer to Christmas is a better time to judge but it won’t change my mind and I don’t think there is much doubt left that he isn’t the right person to steer us out of the mess we are in.

For everyone going to Harrogate, have a safe journey, good-luck-emoticonand come on you Shots!
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