Tension, excitement, heroes and villains, anything is possible in the last few games of the season. With tickets in our hands and the season finely balanced we couldn’t wait to make the 35-mile Bank Holiday trip to Harrogate Town. Lunch at our lucky chippy and parked up before 1.00 pm, you can never get to a football ground too early.
With segregation in force nearly 1,000 travelling Shaymen occupied an entire terrace down one side of the ground, banging the drum and bouncing up and down to the beat. It was a great atmosphere. In the main stand, more of us were tightly packed in the bright yellow seats ready to advise the linesman on the off-side law. Only fair-weather Graham was unhappy with three giant speakers above his head blaring out pop music proving too much for him. To be fair to Harrogate they did turn it down when he complained.
Harrogate’s Wetherby Road Ground has been transformed this season with a brand new all-weather 3G pitch. The playing surface is now also level, with the warren of paths and steps around the ground giving the only indication of the famous slope from previous years. A new small covered terrace behind one goal gives the home fans the opportunity to generate some collective noise too. With planning notices on nearby streets even more development is likely over the summer.
By half time, it seemed like it was game over; a fantastic first half from the Shaymen, two goals up and it could have been more. It seems like we never lose on an artificial surface. The second half was far more even; Harrogate dominated for 20 minutes and came close, hitting the post when it looked easier to score. Perhaps the biggest cheer of the afternoon was the second half substitution, Scott McManus returning from injury to a rousing cheer. A third goal from the Shaymen sealed the win as the home fans drifted away.
Driving back and Tesco Pete provided us with a rundown of the classified results. It’s been one of those days where most of the teams around us have won but we’re still in the mix for a place in the play-offs with just two games remaining. Next up it’s the final league away game of the season, a trip to sunny Lancashire and a visit to play-off chasing Chorley. It’s looking possible we may see quite a bit of Chorley over the next few weeks if all goes well. Can’t wait, c’mon Shaymen.
Total miles on the road this season 3972, total Goals 53.