A three–mile journey for fifth-placed Knaresborough Town this Saturday, as they travel to near neighbours Harrogate Railway Athletic (19th) for a spicy-looking Toolstation NCEL Premier Division North Yorkshire scrap for bragging rights – and Rail Manager, Craig Ogilvie is optimistic that Station View will be rocking for the game, writes Colin Muncie.
Craig told TBG, “It’s a massive game on Saturday with Knaresborough. I’m hopeful a lot of the locals will turn out for the game as it’s the first time we’ve met competitively in years, I’m led to believe; I would imagine nine out of ten people who come through the gates will be expecting a comfortable Knaresborough victory – and so they should! The difference in the two clubs now is massive – so if we can keep it respectable, we’ve done well. We haven’t won in thirteen games and sit second bottom, while Knaresborough seem to be going from strength to strength, so we’re under no illusions about the task at hand on Saturday; but we understand we have no pressure whatsoever on us to do anything!”
Craig is hoping that the contest favours his own side’s approach. “Our only hope is if Knaresborough turn the game into a game of football, as I think – with the ball on the grass – we play the better football,” he suggested. “I know Knaresborough are a real set piece specialist team, so I’m expecting every free kick from inside our half to be lumped straight in and also for them to aim to get as many corners as possible to take advantage. We’ve been working on that in training to try – and will do – our best to defend it so we’ll see what happens – but we are expecting it!”
The Harrogate gaffer has his eye on a couple of upcoming fixtures against sides in and around Rail, without underestimating the importance of Saturday’s clash. “The main thing for me on Saturday is that we get through the game without any more suspensions or injuries, as we move into the bigger games which are coming up,” he admitted. “Saturday is just another game to me.”
“People are branding it a ‘Local Derby;’ but I would imagine it’ll be the nicest derby in the world knowing what the two teams are like – with handshakes and apologies after every tackle!”