SIMON WEAVER admits that missing out on the play-offs this season would represent a big disappointment – more so for his Harrogate Town players.
Eighth-placed Town, three points adrift of fifth-placed Boston United, who occupy the final Skrill North play-off slot, play host to fourth-placed Solihull Moors in a key fixture tomorrow, with Weaver’s troops seeking to bounce back at the first juncture after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Colwyn Bay.
The setback in North Wales represented Town’s first defeat of 2014 and ended their impressive nine-match unbeaten sequence in all competitions, with Dominic Rowe’s opener cancelled out by two goals in a 2-1 reverse.
Weaver, whose side were denied a late leveller when a Joe Ironside effort was ruled out for offside, is confident that it will represent a minor blip and is hopeful his troops will beat last season’s points tally of 69 when they finished sixth – but more crucially extend their season after last term’s ‘near-miss’.
If they don’t and miss out on the parade again, it will represent a considerable source of dismay, according to Weaver.
He said: “It would be disappointing because we have passed certain tests this year.
“I’d be more disappointed more for this group of players because I think they deserve to finish in a higher place than last year.
“Obviously, there’s different opponents this year and it’s a tighter league. But we must keep going and aim to get a place.
“We got 69 points last year and it would be fantastic to beat that points tally, but also fabulous to get that excitement of the play-offs.
“We had a good run last year, but we maybe exceeded expectations. This year, there was a lot of hope that we would build on that.”
On Tuesday’s loss, he added: “We will dust ourselves down and go again.
“We won’t allow this to knock us and we’ll be back on it on Saturday determined to start another great run.”
Elsewhere, Bradford Park Avenue welcome Colwyn Bay.
NCEL Premier action sees Garforth – buoyed by their fine mid-week win over Thackley – visit title-chasing Brighouse.
Leaders Tadcaster welcome Worksop Parramore, while Glasshoughton, who ended their losing sequence on Tuesday, visit Armthorpe.
Nostell MW, fresh from just their third win of the campaign – a superb success over Bridlington – welcome Liversedge in a key clash at the bottom.
Yorkshire Amateur visit Division One leaders Bottesford, while sixth-placed Pontefract Colls host the side in third, Shaw Lane Aquaforce.
Knaresborough welcome Selby, AFC Emley visit Hall Road Rangers and Eccleshill visit Shirebrook. Hemsworth host fellow strugglers Hallam.