BOSS Lee Ashforth admits tomorrow’s trip to Ossett Town is as big as they come in Harrogate Railway’s bid to beat the Evo-Stik League First Division North drop.
Two teams will be relegated from the division at the end of the season, and second-bottom Railway are currently four points behind third-bottom Town, who have three games in hand.
Railway have gone nine games without victory, but the Station View side have gone close, with the recent 5-3 defeat at Mossley – in which Rail’ led 3-2 heading into injury time – particularly galling for the North Yorkshire outfit.
“I have been pleased by the last four or five games by the way that we have kept going,” said Ashforth.
“We have pushed ourselves and been in all the games we have played.”
And the Railway manager lamented: “We’ve been unfortunate not to get a couple of wins in that.
“The draw stops a rot of results and now there’s no bigger game than the Ossett Town game.”
Manager Billy Miller has called for his Tadcaster Albion side to follow the lead of former NCE League champions for his side’s ultra-hectic run in.
Albion enter the final month of the season five points behind leaders Handsworth Parramore but with two games in hand to claw back the points.
The Brewers begin a run of 12 possible remaining fixtures at Albion Sports tomorrow before the rescheduled North Yorkshire derby against Pickering Town takes place on Tuesday evening.
The amount of games is a worry for Albion chief Miller but he has called on his squad to take inspiration from former league winners Brighouse Town and Shaw Lane Aquaforce – who both had similar fixture pile-ups on their promotion challenges.
“The hardest thing for us is going to be the fixture pile-up,” Miller said.
“It’s a game every 2.4 days if we progress in the cup. It’s a hell of a lot of games.
“But that’s part and parcel of it. Shaw Lane had to do it and Brighouse Town did too.
“I have said all along that the season is won over 42 games. It’s not won over one. We wanted to be in it at this stage and we are. The closer you get to it, the more it comes down to one game. We have got into a really good position, we just had to stay in it.
“We have two huge games coming up. Both are local derbies and neither will want to do us any favours. We have to approach them right. I am sure there will be twists and turns to come.”
Jonathan Greening will miss the two upcoming fixtures due to unavailability but Miller has assistant boss Matt Heath back available after injury.
Miller brought former Scarborough Athletic striker Tom Corner into his ranks ahead of Saturday’s goalless draw at Cleethorpes Town. And the boss had made other in-roads to register players as back-up ahead of yesterday’s deadline.
Corner made his debut in Saturday’s bore draw where he was a lively presence.
Miller said: “He’s a proven goalscorer and gives us a little bit more firepower up top.
“The other strikers we have all like to come and receive the ball. Tom is someone to run behind and gives us that threat. I think he is going to be a brilliant signing.”