Match Preview

It will be a crucial match this Saturday for Hall Road Rangers as they travel to Harrogate Railway Athletic. They travel in search of a valuable victory in this NCEL Premier Division clash. Harrogate Railway currently occupy 20th place and sit four places below Hall Road in the league table. That makes it imperative that Rangers pick up the 3 points.  Three points will give them some very welcome breathing space from the sides below them in the table.

Hall Road boss Bill Gill is aware of how his side’s opponents are in good form. Gill knows that it will be a challenge for his players on Saturday to pick up a positive result. He said:

We catch Harrogate Railway in very good form as they have won their last three games and it is obvious that the changes they have made in recent weeks are clearly working.

They will be desperately keen to get this game on I’m sure

The Opposition

The Rail are in good form coming into this match with 3 successive wins on the bounce in the NCEL Premier Division. Their latest victory came last Saturday at Parkgate where Harrogate Railway won 6-2. This was thanks to braces from both Sheiden Rodgers and Adam Carter plus goals from Nathan Merchant and Daniel O’Donnell. In fact, 14 goals have been scored by The Rail in these last 3 wins including a further four in their last home game against Thackley. Jamie Bairstow grabbed a brace whilst Shane Hamilton and Lincoln Adams scored the other 2 goals.

One former player of Harrogate Railway Athletic is a familiar name to those in East Yorkshire as Josh Windass, son of Hull City hero Dean, had a short spell at Station View during the 2012/13 season before he turned professional.

A Team In Good Form

The Rail have only won 4 of their 12 home games so far this season. This will give Hall Road further encouragement that they can pick up a positive result on Saturday. The previous meeting between these two sides at the end of August ended as a 3-1 win to Hall Road. Harrogate Railway will be looking to avenge that defeat and also carry on their recent fine form. Rangers will most certainly have to keep a clean sheet to give them any chance of picking up the 3 points. So it is vital that their defence is rigid and well drilled to keep out the potent Harrogate Railway attack.

Bill Gill is delighted with the commitment and hard work that his players have shown in training this week. He wants that to be replicated in the match at Harrogate Railway on Saturday. Gill said:

The lads have been working twice a week and it is very clear to see that their work ethic and hunger has been excellent.

However, it will be the outcome of Saturday’s game that will reassure me we are back to our best

Revival Needed

Hall Road have lost 5 of their last 6 league games and are in a bit of a slump which needs to end as quickly as possible. A win will eventually come from somewhere. Rangers will be hoping that it will arrive at Harrogate Railway on Saturday. Hall Road look to improve their poor form and try to recapture the collective confidence and spirit that they had earlier in the season.

Hall Road will be boosted by the arrivals of Dane Mortimer, Jordan Clark and Joe Baxter this week. All three will be considered for selection in this Saturday’s game. It allows Bill Gill to change up his squad and try something new in order to attempt to pick up the results needed to push Hall Road up the table and consolidate for the rest of the season.

Gill is also looking to put pressure on the sides above his Hall Road squad in the NCEL Premier Division table. He wants his players to take advantage of the games in hand they have on the teams around them.

We have games in hand on sides above us and below us and are only three wins away from 10th place which is where I want us to be.

Let’s hope our boys want it most and come away with all three points on Saturday.

Match Preview by Oliver Harsley