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Match Previews

Match Preview | Harrogate Town (A)

25 August 2023

We travel to the EnviroVent Stadium on Saturday 26 August with Harrogate Town our opponents in our second Sky Bet League Two away fixture of the campaign.

The Shrimps head into the game on the back of an emphatic 3-0 home win over Bradford City. Michael Mellon scored twice either side of JJ McKiernan’s first for the Club, all without reply on a memorable afternoon at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

In their last outing, the Sulphurites travelled to East Lancashire to face Accrington Stanley, where Simon Weaver’s men fell to a late 2-1 defeat at the Wham Stadium as Jack Nolan netted the winner in the eighth minute of second half added time.

The Opposition

Town finished 19th in the League Two table last season, registering 12 wins, 16 draws and 18 defeats. 

The two teams did face off in the EFL Trophy back in October last year; Adam Mayor fired the Shrimps ahead inside two minutes before goals from Finn O’Boyle and Miles Welch-Hayes secured victory for the North Yorkshire outfit. 

There’s a couple of familiar faces in the opposition squad. Former captain Anthony O’Connor left Morecambe in January this year to join Harrogate, and has since played more than 20 times, scoring twice.

After spending three seasons at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium, defender Liam Gibson linked up with Saturday’s opponents in the summer and has featured in each of Town’s games so far this campaign.


Having spent more than 14 years in charge at the club, Weaver is the longest serving manager in the English football league, with five years separating him and the second longest serving gaffer in John Coleman. 

Since becoming full-time manager in Jun 2011, the 45-year-old has taken charge of 255 games, winning 98, drawing 57 and losing 100, averaging at 1.38 points-per-match.

Key Players

27-year-old striker Luke Armstrong came out on top of the scoring table for Harrogate last season with 16 league goals. After arriving in North Yorkshire in July 2021, the Durham-born man has found a home with the Sulphurites having previously been on the move every year since 2014.

Dean Cornelius signed for Harrogate Town in the summer from Scottish Premiership side Motherwell. At just 22, the midfielder made 52 appearances for the Steelmen and was offered a new deal before opting to make the journey south of the border. Upon his arrival at the EnviroVent stadium, Weaver described him as a ‘player with so much potential’.


Attacking-midfielder Matty Daly spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan with Harrogate from Huddersfield Town, before signing permanently in July. The Stockport-born man played 39 times in all competitions, scoring eight and providing two assists. Internationally, Daly has represented England at U17 and U18 level, with a combined nine appearances across the board and one goal.

Simon Weaver’s Pre-Match Thoughts

Town manager Simon Weaver was full of praise for the Shrimps after last weekend’s 3-0 win over the Bantams.

Speaking to Harrogate Town TV, he said: “I thought they were outstanding against Bradford; they thoroughly deserved their 3-0 victory.

“They are very much what we’ve tried to put on our players, and press upon them, is that energy and making sure it’s hard to play against.

“Full credit to Derek and his team, they did a great job last week.”

Meet The Officials

Ross Joyce will be the man in the middle on Saturday, with Lisa Rashid and Paul Stonier running the lines and Mark Cunliffe completing the line-up as fourth official. 

Having made his League Two debut aged 29 in 2015, then the youngest referee in the EFL, Joyce predominantly takes charge of games between the third and fourth tiers of English football.


He last took charge of the Shrimps in early April 2022, a convincing 3-0 win over Burton Albion at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.

Joyce has refereed three games so far this campaign, all in League One, and has distributed a total of 16 yellow cards and no reds to-date.

Listen Live!

Full match commentary of Saturday’s game against Harrogate Town will be available with an iFollow Shrimps audio match pass for just £2.50!

Click here for more information.

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