Harrogate Preview

Date: 06 March 2018

Preston Grasshoppers entertain long time opponents Harrogate this Saturday, always assuming they don’t have the same problem last week’s scheduled visitors from Ilkley had with the A59!

Words by Mike Forshaw, photo by Mike Craig

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The snow and easterly winds played havoc with last weekend’s National League fixtures from Level 3-5, so much so that only four of fifty fixtures were completed and one of those was ‘overseas’! Most unusually, and a first for Hoppers as far as I recall, many cancellations were due to visiting teams being unable, or unwilling to take the risk of travelling.

With last week’s opponents having a full list of fixtures to the end of the scheduled season due to previous postponements, it now looks as if our re-arranged game with Ilkley will be taking place on the 28th of April.

Last weekend’s non-event obviously leaves the league table unchanged and our visitors from Harrogate will be all out to keep their hopes of promotion alive at Lightfoot Green this Saturday. As mentioned in last week’s preview the ‘Yorkies’ sit in second place, fifteen points adrift of Hoppers and two points clear of nearest rivals Hull who have a game in hand with Hoppers next opponents Lymm a further three points adrift.

Our visitors this week travel (hopefully) over the Pennines with a six match run of victories to their credit, add to this a drawn game plus another win and you have to look back as far as early December to find their last defeat which was at the hands of Lymm. Needless to say they’ll be brim full of confidence come Saturday and intent on avenging the defeat they suffered at the hands of Hoppers back in November last year.

As previously mentioned, Harrogate are one of our more regular opponents since league fixtures began back in 1987. Out of the twenty eight matches played, Harrogate have won seventeen to our eight with another three being drawn, including both games in the 2000/1 season. So with one win already under their belts this season, Hoppers will want to have narrowed that gap even further at about 4pm Saturday.

With fixtures going back to the 1954/55 season the full record of games between the two clubs reads, Hoppers twelve wins against Harrogate’s thirty, with five ending all square and seven being cancelled for various reasons in a sequence which started back on the 23rd of October 1954 at Claro Road, Harrogate.

The 1869 Club have a poster on the noticeboard for the important trip to Lymm in Cheshire with the usual lunch stop en-route. As usual, everyone’s welcome with the fare £15 and accompanied juniors travelling for £5 each. The coach departs Lightfoot Green at 11:00am and will leave Beechwood around an hour after the final whistle. This will be a crucial game for Hoppers and the players would appreciate as much travelling support as possible.


Hoppers last outing at Pocklington saw the debuts of Louis McGowan who has been loaned to us by Caldy until the end of this season and Jobe Roxby who was given the opportunity after an impressive season so far with the 2nd XV. Jobe stamped his mark on the event, taking over the kicking duties and duly adding five points to the scoreline.

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