Maidenhead United vs Harrogate Town: Vanarama National League, Saturday 21st September 2019, 3.00pm kick-off.
The Magpies will look to get their campaign back on track as Harrogate Town travel to York Road this afternoon.
After falling to a second consecutive defeat at the Hive last weekend, Alan Devonshire’s side dropped down to seventh.
The Sulphurites have made an inconsistent start to the Vanarama National League and sit in 18th place at kick-off.
Maidenhead have fallen behind the chasing pack in recent weeks after making a fantastic start to the league season.
They followed an impressive start by picking up only one point from their last three games. Firstly, by drawing at the Racecourse Ground the club surrendered their 100% winning record away from home. They then lost 1-0 at home to the Daggers as James Dobson scored a penalty. Last time out, the Magpies were beaten for the first time on the road at Barnet.
Josh Walker nipped in to finish a rebound after a Charlee Adams’ strike was parried out, as the Magpies failed to penetrate at the other end. The Bees were also able to leapfrog the visitors in the league table with a win against Aldershot in midweek, as Maidenhead slipped to seventh.
However, Alan Devonshire’s side can start to regain their form against the Sulphurites. They themselves have only earned one win from their last five.
The Magpies can also take optimism from their unexpected start to the season, and know that if they can repeat those performances, they will be able to win games again.
Harrogate have struggled to match last season’s form after a poor start, with the club sitting down in 18th.
Although they finished sixth last season, the Sulphurites couldn't secure promotion to the Football League as they lost to Fylde in the play-off quarter-final.
Despite falling short, they were so close to promotion. That was all the more impressive as they’d only just been promoted from the National League North in 2017-18. That year they defeated Brackley in the play-off final after a second placed finish.
Looking back to this season, they’ve been unable to build on last season’s promise and had an inconsistent start.
In recent weeks the Sulphurites fell to a poor run of three consecutive defeats against Dover, Chorley and Torquay. But, they were able to stop the rot with a goalless draw at home to Boreham Wood last week.
With them ending their run of defeats and earning a clean sheet, Simon Weaver will hope that they can take advantage of the Magpies’ recent form to get their own season back on track.
Last time out
Maidenhead failed to pick up any points in the fixtures between the two last season, with Harrogate completing a double.
The first game took place at York Road in early December. Maidenhead failed to clear their lines after a corner in the 20th minute, and Callum Howe punished them with a good header. But, the Magpies equalised as an indirect free-kick from Reece Cole was converted in at the far post by Adrian Clifton. The Sulphurites weren’t to be denied though as they scored a winner in the 77th minute. The ball could only ricochet to Kelvin Langmead in the penalty-area, and he turned well before making no mistake with his shot.
Harrogate were able to secure all three points again as they narrowly earned a 1-0 win at Wetherby Road in March. An accurate cross from George Thomson was headed in by Mark Beck early in the second-half. This result took the hosts up to sixth in the National League table as they continued with their push for promotion.
Both clubs have a point to prove and recent form to rectify, so there’s plenty to play for at York Road this afternoon. The Magpies could potentially rise to fourth in the league with a win, whilst Harrogate could separate themselves further from the bottom two.
Alan Devonshire’s side have a chance to win only their second home match this campaign, and an improvement in that area is crucial to their success this season.
For the Sulphurites though, if they can repeat their performances from the same fixtures last season, they will be able to get back on the right path again.