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🔎 The Opposition: Harrogate Town (H)

Jed Penberthy takes a look at Tuesday's opponents

18 January 2021

Exeter City make their first ever trip to the EnviroVent Stadium on Tuesday night to face Harrogate Town in a 6:30pm kick-off

Here’s all you need to know about our opposition from Yorkshire.

  • Founded: 1914
  • Nicknames: Town, The Sulphurites
  • Honours: Northern Premier League Division One (2001/02), Yorkshire League Division One (1926/27), West Riding County Cup (6 times winners), Whitworth Cup (13 times winners)
  • Home Kit: NEW BALANCE Yellow and black stripes, black shorts, yellow and black socks
  • Away Kit: NEW BALANCE Blue shirt, blue shorts and socks.
  • Form: LWLWL (18th in League Two)

Formed as Harrogate AFC in 1914, the club played in the Midland, Yorkshire and Northern Leagues before folding in 1932. The current club was reformed as Harrogate Hotspurs and changed their name again to Town in 1948.

Harrogate is a quaint town in the heart of Yorkshire famous for its natural springs. Its spa water contains iron, sulphur and common salt, hence the football club’s nickname: the Sulphurites. After her eleven-day disappearance in 1926, Devon’s legendary crime writer Agatha Christie mysteriously turned up to The Old Swan Hotel on the edge on Harrogate. The town was voted the “happiest place to live in England” three consecutive times between 2013-15.

As Harrogate AFC the club won multiple titles and local cups before its collapse. Hotspurs began in the Harrogate & District League and won their first trophy in 1936. The change of name in 1948 reflected the club’s status as the area’s most successful team.

The Sulphurites only became professional in 2017, which coincided with their rise up the football pyramid. Simon Weaver took charge of the first team in 2009 and since guided Town to the National League in 2018 before promotion to the Football League this season.

The Manager

Simon Weaver

The 42-year-old began his career at City’s FA Cup third round opponents Sheffield Wednesday in the late 90’s. The former defender had playing spells at Lincoln and Macclesfield but nearing the end of his career focussed on playing lower down the pyramid.

PPAUK_SPO_Harrogate_Town_110220_090.JPG

Weaver joined Town in 2009 as a player/manager and his dad Irvine became club chairman. Together the Weaver’s transformed Harrogate from sixth tier strugglers to a football league legacy. In August, Weaver led his Harrogate side out at Wembley for the second time as the Sulphurites ran out 3-1 winners against Notts County.

The Stadium

  • Name: The EnviroVent Stadium
  • Capacity: 5,000
  • Year opened: 1920
  • Record Attendance: 4,280 v Harrogate Railway (1949)
  • Address: Wetherby Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 7SA

While Starbeck Lane was the original ground of Harrogate AFC, Wetherby Road has always been the home to Harrogate Town. After the Weaver’s introduction, the EnviroVent Stadium (sponsorship) has seen some significant redevelopments to prove Harrogate’s young professional status.

Harrogate.JPG

In 2013 two new stands were erected and the pitch was renovated into an artificial surface to ensure the club would be able to host games over the damning winter months. Upon promotion to the Football League, regulations meant Harrogate had to remove the 3G pitch which led to Town starting the season at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.

On 17 October, Harrogate Town returned to Wetherby Road and won 1–0 against Barrow in the first EFL game at the ground. 

One To Watch

Jack Muldoon

Already in double figures for league goals, forward Jack Muldoon has been a crucial part of Harrogate Town's attack since signing from AFC Fylde in June 2018. 

Jack Muldoon.jpg

Showing an impressive return of 38 goals in 95 league matches, Jack quickly adapted to life in the Football League scoring a double in his first League Two match against Southend United. He scored the winner when Harrogate visited St James Park in December.t

Previous Encounter

Exeter City 1 Harrogate Town 2 | 15/12/20 | EFL Sky Bet League Two

Exeter City suffered defeat at St James Park as Harrogate Town head back to Yorkshire with all three points following a 2-1 victory. Goals from Brendan Kiernan and Jack Muldoon either side of the break succumbed City to their fourth defeat of the League Two season.

Jake Taylor scored The Grecians’ only goal seconds after half time as City were much the better team throughout the ninety minutes, but Harrogate’s two only real shots of the game were enough for the visitors.

Head-to-Head

There has been one fixture between the two sides with Harrogate taking the three points back in December.

  • Exeter City Wins: 0
  • Draws: 0
  • Harrogate Town Wins: 1

And Finally…

It took Harrogate Town 51 seasons from their first appearance in the competition, to reach the FA Cup first round proper. In 2002/03 John Reed’s men defeated Great Harwood, Wisbech Town and Accrington Stanley to qualify but were humbled 5-1 by Conference side Farnborough.

How to Watch

Whilst we would love you to be there, showing your passionate support for the Grecians, you can get the next best thing by purchasing a match pass at the cost of just £10 in the UK. The stream includes the live club commentary, score overlay and replays.

To purchase a match pass please click here.


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