Victory over Bradford City shows Harrogate Town belong in Football League

HARROGATE TOWN’S on-message derby victory at Bradford City has turned an average start in their first season in the Football League into a really good one.

Into action: Harrogate Town's Joshua Falkingham, right, battles for the ball with Bradford's Elliot Watt. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

That is the verdict of captain Josh Falkingham, at the heartbeat of another special occasion in the Sulphurites’ remarkable story in 2020.

Simon Weaver’s side – not for the first time – proved anything but camera-shy in delivering a highly accomplished performance to become the first visiting side to claim three points at Valley Parade in almost a year.

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Falkingham said: “It is a massive result for us. I think we set high standards and if we had not come here and got a result, it would have been a pretty average start, really.

Harrogate Town's Jon Stead falls under pressure from Reece Staunton of Bradford City (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“It is a really good start now and we are really happy. To get a win here – I do not think that they had lost here in nearly a year – is massive. We got a clean sheet and managed to get the goal at the right time and managed to sort the game out really well.

“We might only be a small club and not many people might know about us, but we are a club on the up and have got that momentum and roll – something we have built over the last few years.

“It has been down to hard work and a lot has been going on behind the scenes. We won’t get carried away and get too high and we will continue to build and hopefully continue up the leagues and keep looking up.”

It was a night which saw Harrogate muster 25 attempts on goal in a high-energy display, although Falkingham admits that the management team’s high standards mean that there will be a tinge of disappointment at not scoring more goals.

He added: “We start fast and get in people’s faces and then we like to shift the ball. It was a great pitch and a great stadium and we have been in front of the cameras a few times now.

“We were a real threat with a lot of shots, but I don’t think the gaffer and Thirls (Paul Thirlwell) will be happy with that stat – that we have only scored one in 25. But it is a win and we move on.”

Reflecting on events, match-winner Lloyd Kerry, whose strike broke the deadlock 16 minutes from time when he turned in Jack Muldoon’s excellent cross, said: “I tried to concentrate on my connection; I did not want to hit it too hard and blaze it over.

“I managed to make good contact with it and luckily enough, it ended up in the net. This is a great result in a big Yorkshire derby. To come here, score a goal, keep a clean-sheet and get the win, I am delighted.”

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Thank you

James Mitchinson