Harrogate Town v Chesterfield: Team news, key players, form guide, betting odds and ticket prices
Chesterfield face a tough test at promotion-chasing Harrogate Town on Saturday.
The north Yorkshire side are positioned in the final play-off spot in the National League with nine wins, six draws and six defeats so far this season.
Managed by Simon Weaver, who has been in charge of the club for the last 10 years, making him the longest-serving manager in the top five divisions, Harrogate are unbeaten at home in the league since the end of August.
Such is the inconsistency of the division, Harrogate, who finished 6th last season but lost in the play-offs, have conceded 27 goals, which is actually one more than fourth bottom Sutton United.
The Spireites will have to be wary of midfielder Brendan Kiernan, who joined the club in the summer from Welling United, after scoring 15 goals and claiming 12 assists last season. Kiernan has carried on where he left off with seven goals to his name so far.
Striker Jack Muldoon poses another threat, he has six goals so far. The 30-year-old joined Harrogate from AFC Fylde in June 2018 and finished as the club’s top scorer last season with 18.
More Spireites news: Chesterfield captain Will Evans gives his assessment of what went wrong against Chorley and his mistake for the penaltyChesterfield FC's Proact Stadium to host Sheffield United Women's home matchesA well-known name within the Harrogate ranks is experienced frontman Jon Stead. The former Notts County, Huddersfield Town, Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield United and Sunderland striker has scored more than 150 goals in 600 appearances during his career.
Chesterfield last five: W2 D1 L1 (11th)
Harrogate last five: W3 D1 L1 (2nd)
John Sheridan’s men will have to be wary of a backlash from their opponents after they threw away a 3-0 lead at half-time against Bromley on Saturday. Weaver’s side led through goals from Jack Emmett, Kiernan and Muldoon after 41 minutes. But Bromley hit back after the break with two goals in three minutes and were level with more than 15 minutes to play.
After the game boss Weaver said his team needed to be more “streetwise”.
“The first 40 minutes were outstanding,” Weaver told the Harrogate Advertiser. “We looked great every time we went forward and we defended well.
“But, we were weak in response to them scoring their first and we have to get better.
“The component, in terms of what’s missing at the moment, is that streetwise edge, which to get over the line against teams such as these, has to be added to our game.
“We were on the back foot and we didn’t problem-solve. We’ve got lads who are still learning at this level, but they’ve got to learn fast if they want to accelerate and compete for that top-three place that we really want.
“We’ve got cracking lads and great energy, great pace, great passing ability, but we need to wise up a bit.”
After a slow start Harrogate went on a 10-match unbeaten run to take them into the National League play-off positions, but they are now winless in three in all competitions.
Weaver added: “The last 12 games we’ve been immense at times, but within that there’s spells in games where we have to step up to the plate.
“Momentum is a wonderful thing when it’s going your way. But when it’s going against you we have to be better at dealing with it.
“I wasn’t proud of the second-half performance by any stretch. Overall, it wasn’t good enough to get the win that we wanted.
“We put ourselves in a fabulous position, 3-0 up against the league leaders, and we’ve got to take advantage, but we were weak in certain areas and didn’t drive home the advantage.
“There were individuals who played great at times and individuals who will a lesson from it as well.”
When the two teams met last season Harrogate had the edge over Chesterfield with the sides drawing 1-1 in north Yorkshire in November 2018 but The Blues were beaten 1-0 at the Proact in February.
Spireites team news
Meanwhile, Chesterfield will be looking for a reaction of their own after a dreadful home loss to bottom club Chorley last Saturday.
Sheridan will hope to have defender Josef Yarney (hamstring) back for this weekend while winger Gevaro Nepomuceno will be available again after returning from international duty.
It was initially thought Will Evans would be suspended for Saturday after collecting his fifth booking of the season against Chorley, but it has since been confirmed that one of his yellow cards came in the FA cup so he can play.
The returning Laurence Maguire may come into Sheridan’s thoughts while Liam Mandeville and Mike Fondop will be pushing for starts.
Harrogate to win: 5/4
Chesterfield to win: 2/1
Adult standing: £16
Adult seated: £17
Concession standing: £12
Concession seated: £13
Under 18 standing: £5
Under 18 seated: £6
Tickets bought on the day of the game increase by £2, apart from the tickets for Under 18s, which remain the same.
Carers and Under 5s are admitted free with a paying adult/concession.