Harrogate Town v Stevenage [Match Preview]


By Pete H

With goals and points in short supply right now, the signs suggest that Boro’ are in for a hard time at the EnviroVent Stadium. Harrogate Town are making a superb start to their first-ever season in the Football League. We, meanwhile, are showing the same form that should’ve ended our time at this level last season – but for Macclesfield Town and Bury. On paper, we’d forgive you for thinking this is a foregone conclusion. But let’s take a look at our latest outing as if we do have a fighting chance…

The Details: Harrogate Town v Stevenage

Where’s the game?

The EnviroVent Stadium is the location. You’ll be sat at home, however; settling in for the long winter of tiers and – if our form continues – tears.

Can I watch Harrogate Town v Stevenage?

Yep. If no decent horror flick is on the box, get the next best thing and sign up to watch Boro’ using iFollow. Of course, it’s free for season ticket holders. But, if you’re not, £10 gets you a single Video Match Pass. It could end up being a tenner well-spent. Keep the faith, eh?

How are Boro’ shaping up…?

Do you really wanna go there? Since our form headed south with defeat up at Bradford, the goals have totally dried up. We’re not counting the defeat to MK Dons in that. Firstly, it’s the Leasing.com Trophy (or whatever it’s called). Second, it needed a freaky OG and pelanty to get us on the scoresheet. We’d also make a point that we’re useless at finding the net before half time. But that pales into significance given our record scoring streak.

… and how are they looking?

Town are currently enjoying a decent start to life in League Two; winning half of their first eight games. At home, however, their record isn’t amazing. Part of that could be down to playing at Doncaster’s ground as their new grass pitch bedded in. Their two games down the road at the Keepmoat Stadium turned in a draw and a defeat; their first back home at the EnviroVent Stadium ending in victory at the expense of Barrow.

If we do fall behind, the statistics suggest we’re in for a tough time. Actually, so does our form. But that’s beside the point. Town have taken the lead six times so far; conceding a leveller on just two occasions. So, they know how to see out a lead – whereas we’re not great at responding to others taking the lead.

Our story with Harrogate Town so far

Now, this is a first. Boro’ and Town are going up against each other for the first-ever time; the North Yorkshire side making steady progress up the pyramid over the past few years.

Last Meeting: No previous meetings

Who’s the referee in charge?

Graham Salisbury.

As refs go, Mr Salisbury is a fairly familiar face for us. We’re now 13 meetings in with this guy; losing nine and winning just three. Add to that our inability to score in seven of those meetings and you’ve got yourself a bad omen. Last time out on Mr Salisbury’s watch, we were humbled at home by Leyton Orient. And that’s not too good when we’ve just been… humbled at home by Leyton Orient. Two of our three wins when he took charge did come on the road, if that helps.

For the 2020-1 season to date, Mr Salisbury has taken charge of four matches; doling out seven yellow cards in the process. It’s almost not worth telling you. But perhaps you like to know these things for your reference. Use the info as you see fit.

Last Meeting: Stevenage 0-3 Leyton Orient, 01 February 2020

I have £1 to bet – what are my options?

In the outright win market, you’ll find it hard to get a worthwhile price on Harrogate; 77/100 (Novibet) as good as your quid’ll get. Boro’, meanwhile, are out as far as 15/4 (multiple). It ain’t exactly a ringing endorsement from the bookies. For the hosts to win this to nil, that’s available at 9/5 (Betfair Exchange). You could compound it with Under 0.5 Goals for us at 5/4 (multiple). Town are also 9/2 (SkyBet) to win by two clear goals. On the plus side, give Boro’ your faith and they’ll give you some nifty returns with the long odds.

Prices may change. Be Gamble Aware – when the fun stops, knock it on the head…

Harrogate Town v Stevenage: Our verdict?

Town are looking hot. We are looking not. It’s a home win for us, Clive – 2-0.