FA Cup, Third Qualifying Round
Harrogate doesn’t do rivalry as I’ve noted before in this blog and certainly didn’t put up much of a fight today.
the phoenix club is now busy paddling its way back up the leagues – very successfully, in fact, as they currently top the Northern Premier League and look odds on to swap places with Harrogate come the spring. “A Conference team for a conference town” may not be the snappy Harrogate slogan for much longer. They’ve only won two out of nine league games this season.
YouTube footage is brilliant, by the way). Three of the four stands have been replaced and a further stand currently under construction noses into one corner. Few reformed clubs can boast such fine facilities (although they’re shared with the rugby league club).The bigger the ground, though, the bigger the crowd you need to give it some atmosphere and, even though Halifax recorded their biggest gate of the season today, there were echoes of Gateshead – literally. The vocal Shaymen in the south stand did their best but there’s only so much you can do to offset the effect on the atmosphere of two unused stands and a less than 20% capacity. There was also no opportunity to walk around the pitch, much to the dismay of my occasional FA Cup companion and nephew, Toby, and I.
one round previously. If you’d teleported me to the game I’d have guessed I was at a pre-season friendly for a Third Division side. I may not have known where exactly since the only reference to the town outside or inside the ground is an an advertising hoarding for MacDonalds in Halifax.
This was a pitiful and spineless performance by Harrogate that brought to mind England in the World Cup. The pink colour of their shirts (in support of a breast cancer charity) was wholly appropriate. The small huddle of away fans – whom we joined in the second half out of sympathy and local allegiance – hardly did the club proud either. They looked like a bunch of bored kids on a school outing. The only emotion they expressed was daubed on the t-shirt of one lad in marker pen: “Taxi for Weaver”. I’d just point him to the bus stop.
And a boo for the Premiership: I read two stories about Manchester football clubs this weekend. One was about the debt of Man United and other was an account in the NLP of FCUM’s win at Norton & Stockton Ancients. What a great pic too (below). Now that’s what it’s all about!