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Posted Thu 21 Jun 12

Harrogate Town may not be regarded as one of FC Halifax Town's rivals, but with less than 40 miles between the two grounds, Harrogate will always provide fiercer competition than expected.

And it's not just the locations of the clubs that could make an encounter exciting, no less than five players and of course Neil Aspin himself has moved from Wetherby Road to The Shay in recent seasons.

Aaron Hardy, James Dean, Danny Holland, Danny Lowe and Ryan Toulson are all former players for Harrogate Town now wearing the blue of Halifax and will be looking to get one over on their former club.

Harrogate finished in 12th place last season and finds them sat in 16th place this time around. Managed by player-manager Simon Weaver, Town will be looking to push on from last season's finish with only three points separating them from this and last season's place on the table.

Harrogate have only played six games in the year 2012 and have a record of three wins, two draws and a defeat and if the rest of the season is anything to go like their start to the new year, it could prove to be more successful than last season.

Halifax will more than likely once again see a different XI starting against Harrogate with Jamie Rainford remaining injured and Cameron Darkwah returning to his parent club.

Tom Baker and Aaron Hardy will be looking to make another return to the starting line up following returns from injury.

Player manager Simon Weaver is a very travelled athlete, having played for no less than 15 teams, including 88 appearances for Lincoln City in the Football League.

Centre back Matthew Bloomer also played 89 games for the same side before playing for many of the same teams as Weaver.

Paul Heckingbottom started his career at Sunderland but failed to make an appearance, after loan spells at Scarborough and Hartlepool, the defender went on to make 115 appearances for Darlington.

St Kitts and Nevis international Patrece Liburd has recently joined the club from Belgian fourth division side RRFC Montegnee after leaving Droylsden in 2010.

Lee Elam may be a familiar face for Town fans. The winger made 15 appearances and scoring two goals for the old club in 2003 before moving on to Yeovil Town.

Jonny Allan is another former Shayman, having made 14 appearances between 2003 and 2004.

The two sides played out a 0-0 draw in September at Wetherby Road while Tom Baker missed a penalty to deny his side the win. Baker will be looking to turn things around at The Shay and pick up all three points this time around.

Joseph Speckman