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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

23 December 2023 Venue Blundell Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match preview - Town head to Grimsby in final fixture before Christmas

21 December 2023

Buoyed by last weekends impressive 3-1 win at home to Notts County, Town are on the road this weekend, kicking off a run of four games over the next 10 days.

And with plenty of points on offer Simon Weaver’s side know that a strong return heading into 2024 could see them challenging amongst the sides in the top half of the table.


Our opponents

This is the second season back in the EFL for the Mariners after they spent a season in the National League following relegation in 2020/21, bouncing back via the playoffs at the first attempt.

Last season saw them return a creditable 11th place finish, also reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, knocking out a string of higher ranked sides along the way.

Coming into the game they are in 18th spot, three points behind Town on the back of a run of six games without defeat. Their home form has seen them take a return of five wins and eighteen points from 11 games, including a 2-1 win against Crewe last time out.

Previous meetings

The two clubs met three times in the 2020/21 season. After a 2-2 draw in the Papa Johns Trophy thanks to a late Kevin Lokko strike Grimsby took the bonus point courtesy of a 5-4 shoot-out win.

Town would triumph in both league meetings though, winning 2-1 at Blundell Park thanks to a Jack Muldoon brace and won by a solitary goal in the return fixture when Mark Beck struck fifteen minutes from time.

After a season long break the two sides next met in 2022/23. The Boxing Day encounter was a thrilling affair that saw Town twice come from behind to snatch an injury time winner.

Otis Khan had cancelled out Luke Armstrong’s early strike before Harry Clifton put the visitors ahead early in the second half. Armstrong netted again to level on 75 minutes before a Max Crocombe own goal from Kayne Ramsay’s shot won the points for Town.

The two sides then played out a goalless draw at Blundell Park last February.

The man in charge

David Artell is a new face on the bench having being appointed at the end of November following the departure of Paul Hurst.

Artell previously managed Crewe for five years, winning 100 games during his time in charge before departing the club in April 2022. Artell also played for the Railwaymen for two seasons as well as having spells at the likes of Morecambe, Port Vale, Chester and Mansfield.

Ones to watch

Danny Rose leads the scoring charts with seven goals this season, with both Abou Eisa and Donovan Wilson close behind with six goals.

Gavan Holohan has three goals and four assists and despite a goal return not matching that of last season Harry Clifton will likely be a threat from midfield.

Niall Maher is a veteran presence at the heart of the defence and he has formed an ever present partnership at the back with Harvey Rodgers, who arrived from Accrington in the summer.


The club was formed back in 1878 and moved to their current home, Blundell Park, in 1898. They joined the Football League in 1892 and saw their most successful period between the First and Second World Wars when they spent a decade in the top division.

From the 1950’s onwards the club spent much of the next couple of decades alternating between the second and third divisions, being relegation to the bottom tier in 1968. The club were promoted back to the third division twice during the 1970’s.

The early 1980’s saw them back in the second tier, with a fifth-placed finish in 1984 but an end of season slump in 1987 saw them fall back into Division Three.

Financial problems hit the club at the start of the current century and they would ultimately be relegated out of the league in 2010, where they would remain for six seasons.

The Mariners have notable former managers in Bill Shankly and Lawrie McMenemy, but the most successful was Alan Buckley who led the club to three promotions and two Wembley appearances in his three spells between 1988 and 2008.

Team news

Town continue to be without Mark Oxley, Jonathan Mitchell, Toby Sims and Rod McDonald, but will be hoping that both James Daly and Sam Folarin are ready to return to contention.

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Match Reports

Match report - Odoh & Gibson fire Town to back-to-back wins

23 December 2023

Town travelled to Blundell Park full of confidence and hoping to make it two wins from two following their 3-1 home win against Play-off candidates Notts County last time out.

A win over Grimsby would cement Town's position in mid-table in a season full of steady performances and impressive away results.

This is the Mariners second season back in the EFL, which prior to this game had them sitting two places behind Weaver’s side.

A side which included the returning Belshaw between the sticks for his second outing back in yellow and black following the extension of his emergency loan. Another change to the starting eleven from last week’s win saw Warren Burrell captain the side and take Ant O’Connor’s place.

A welcome return on the bench for James Daly also as he was deemed fit enough to make the squad following a lengthy spell out through injury. 

Town came charging out of the blocks, forcing errors with quick and effective pressing, particularly from Ramsay who pushed far up field to cut out passing lanes, Grimsby were expected to come out all guns blazing but Town remained relentless in their tracking to silence the home crowd.

Thomson continued the pressing effort to cut out a wayward pass to Glennon but his shot was ultimately blocked and set up Odoh to use his quick feet to skip past the oncoming defender, but the regrouping Grimsby defence managed to subdue him.

Town’s confidence was evident early on as their heads stayed up and had no reservations in seeking forward balls and quick exchanges to unfold the Mariners deep in their half as well as measured build up play.

Liam Gibson proved it was not just the attacking play taking centre stage as the left-back turned centre-back slid to cut out a dangerous low cross 10 minutes in to deny an early blow for Town.

Town came so close to opening the scoring before the 30 minute mark, Odoh was denied twice by Cartwright as the winger weaved his way past two on-rushing defenders to shift the ball onto his right and see his shot saved low as well as the rebound to the keepers near post.

Another two chances came shortly after the half hour mark as a deep free kick from Foulds saw Thomson unmarked on the far side, but his volley whistled wide of the post.

An even better opening came soon as a fantastic ball from the left side from Odoh fell perfectly for the incoming Muldoon, but his sliding boot was mere centimetres too short and it flew past him.

Four minutes of normal time left saw the opener finally for Town from a corner as Liam Gibson weaved his way through a congested six-yard area as the ball was whipped in.

The makeshift centre back showed immense desire to put his head in between two battling defenders and give him his first ever Harrogate goal and give Town the goal they deserved as well as Simon Weaver a boost for his half-time team talk to take more charge of the game they had dominated already.

Town stood their ground proudly going into the break, with the one goal advantage flattering the home side, as Town racked up four shots on target to Grimsby’s zero as well as dominating them in terms of clear-cut chances, successful crosses and successful dribbles.

It only took a minute from the restart for Grimsby to start showing their worth as a header from 4 yards out from Clifton was lofted over the bar.

With an hour gone it was time for Town to display their defensive acumen as they solidified themselves enough to cut out any chances Grimsby attempted to commit,

Captain Warren Burrell was resolute in his defending as his loose touch had the potential to create danger, but his desire and recovery pace allowed him to rise to the challenge and make a decisive sliding tackle.

68 minutes in saw one of Towns better chances as Muldoon picked the pocket of the midfielder deep in the Mariner’s half and his low through ball found Thomson on the right side of the box but the panicked Niall Maher just managed to block the shot.

That was a sign of things to come as it wasn’t long until Abraham Odoh doubled the advantage, thanks to brilliant work by Matty Daly. Town's number 10 unleashed a superb effort from the edge of the area after shifting the ball off his right and onto his left, tricking two Grimsby defenders and opening the space for a curling effort into the low left corner of the net.

On it's way, Town's number nine was able to get an important touch to send Town two-to-the-good.

As the time crept past the 80-minute mark Town began to slow the tempo down and still use their impressive passing to carve out chances with Dooley after an exchange with Daly crossing a looping ball in but it missed Thomson and Cornelius.

It was almost a third for Town as Odoh bolted forward from the defensive position he had been so effective in during the second half, laying the ball off to Muldoon after the referee allowed advantage to be played.

Muldoon’s pass found Ramsay who struck the bar from just inside the box.

A determined defensive display was summed up by Foulds on the 89th minute as he leaped into a vital block to stop a certain goal heading into an open net, which was quickly followed by Thomson doing the exact same from the proceeding corner.

Odoh’s race was run ticking into added time and Sivi was put on to see the game out, But a spanner was thrown into the works one minute into added time as Green struck a low left footed shot past the stretch of Belshaw to half the advantage.

But it was to no avail as Town's 6th away win was confirmed after a final 5 minutes of additional time to give the supporters a welcome Christmas present.


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Ticket News

UP NEXT - Town head to Grimsby as festive League Two action begins

18 December 2023

It's a Saturday spent on the road this weekend as Simon Weaver and his players head to Grimsby in the first of our festive fixtures this season.

Tickets for the match can be purchased online or from the club shop on Commercial Street.


Tickets are priced as follows: 

Adult - £22

Young Adult (18-22) - £15

Senior: 65+ - £15

Full Time Student 18+ (Valid NUS card required) - £15

14-17 year old Individual - £8

3-17yrs (accompanied by Adult) - £6

Under 3 - free 

Please note, there will be a price rise of £2 on all adult and concession categories on the day of the game. 

You may also be asked for proof of age when entering the ground. 


The Harrogate Town Independent Supporter's Club are running a coach to this match. To secure your place please contact Jordan on 07989 969575



If you require any assistance when purchasing tickets please contact

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