PREVIEW: Inconsistent, leaking goals but still posing a big threat - Harrogate set for first trip to Chesterfield
Inconsistency has seen Harrogate slip out of the play-off spots, but they’ll still present a big threat to John Sheridan’s unbeaten league record.
The West Yorkshire side visit the Proact on Saturday with a number of dangermen within their ranks.
Recently, they’ve been capable of turning it on in some games but not others.
“Town have been rather inconsistent of late,” said Rhys Howell of the Harrogate Advertiser.
“They were superb from start to finish in front of live BT Sport cameras when they beat Hartlepool United 3-1, but followed that display up with a defensive horror show against Stockport County.
“They then showed great character as they fought back to grab a dramatic late win at Dover, only to produce an underwhelming performance on Saturday as they went down 2-1 at home to Ebbsfleet.
“Having started the season so well, they’ve now slipped out of the play-off picture following a run of just two wins in eight league outings.”
Harrogate have added to their squad, borrowing Luton left-back Jack Senior and Barnsley winger Dylan Mottley-Henry, a former Spireite.
“Senior has made one start and one substitute appearance while Mottley-Henry has been restricted to a couple of brief cameos thus far, so neither has yet had chance to make much of an impact,” said Howell.
Key wide player Jordan Thewlis is out injured, while Joe Leesley and Dominic Knowles also missed the last two games, although it is not known why.
They’ve still got plenty of firepower to showcase on their first visit to the Proact.
Howell said: “Right-winger George Thomson has been excellent in recent weeks, scoring a couple of stunners, though he didn’t do much at all on Saturday.
“Jack Muldoon is the top scorer with 14 and is an excellent finisher, however he’s now playing wide left rather than down the middle.
“Usually, when skipper Josh Falkingham is on song in the quarter-back role and dictating the play, Town perform well.”
Unlike some of their league rivals, Harrogate are capable of mixing up their style if needs be.
“Town want to get the ball down and pass it wherever possible. They try to play through the thirds and are comfortable keeping the ball for long periods. They’re not afraid to go long and in Mark Beck they have a forward of sufficient height and strength to allow them to play a more direct game,” said Howell.
“Expect goals. It’s rare that Town fail to score and they’ve been leaking too many at of late.”
Likely line-up (4-3-3): Belshaw; Fallowfield, Howe, Kitching, Burrell; Emmett, Falkingham, Kerry; Thomson, Beck, Muldoon.