Harrogate Town travel to the Crown Ground on Saturday where they will face Accrington Stanley. The visitors are the underdogs going into the tie despite their only win thus far coming on the road.
Recently relegated, Accrington Stanley, started their League Two campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Newport County. The ‘Owd Reds then faced two of the most in form teams in the league, losing 1-0 away to a Gillingham side that has won all three of their opening games and drawing 1-1 with Barrow at home, who also had a 100% win rate going into the tie. John Coleman and his squad have picked up four points at home and have the second best home record in the league so far, so the team should be confident ahead of this weekend’s fixture.
The draw versus Barrow showed that Accrington are capable of controlling large spells of the game even without possession. After the 36th minute opener via Sean McConville, Coleman’s side had to endure spells of Barrow attacks, but they prevented the opposition from getting into shooting positions. The only shot on target they conceded was the unfortunate equaliser in the 87th minute. If they show the same defensive resilience on Saturday, then Accrington will be in a good position to win the game.
Similarly to Accrington, Harrogate started their season with a 1-0 victory which was thanks to a Jack Muldoon penalty. However, their recent form and inability to score will be a huge concern for boss, Simon Weaver. A 1-0 home defeat to Forest Green, a 3-0 away loss to Tranmere Rovers and a 1-0 victory only because of a penalty, clearly highlights that putting the ball in the back of the net is a problem and it is an aspect of Harrogate’s game that needs to improve quite quickly.
The Sulphurites most recent game saw them struggle to create any real chances, with a lack of creativity being their biggest problem, rather than poor finishing. Even though Harrogate had the same amount of shots (11) as Tranmere (who scored three), eight of those shots were from outside the box and didn’t trouble the goalkeeper.
With Accrington Stanley’s solid home form, they are the favourites to claim all three points and I expect that to be the case this weekend. It is difficult to look past Harrogate’s attacking struggles and when you combine that with Accrington’s secure defence, the hosts should come out on top.
The final prediction is Accrington 1-0 Harrogate Town.