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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

17 February 2024 Venue Mornflake Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match preview - Town look to bounce back with Crewe trip

16 February 2024

After a difficult midweek that saw them fall to defeat at Mansfield, Town have an immediate opportunity to recover and return to the form that put them top of the form table over the last 10 matches

It will be another tough fixture for Simon Weaver’s side though with the Railwaymen coming away with all three points from a 3-1 victory at leaders Stockport on Tuesday that sees them come into the game in the automatic promotion positions.

Our opponents

A season ago Crewe finished in 13th position on 58 points in their first season back in League Two following relegation at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

Heading into the final third of this season they have a two point advantage over fourth placed Wrexham, built on a strong home return that has seen them post ten wins en route to 33 points from 16 games.

Recent form has been strong, with six wins and just one defeat from eight games in 2024.

Previous meetings

In late October, Crewe came away from The Envirovent Stadium with all three points with Zac Williams netting in the first half to secure a 1-0 victory.

A year ago Town went down to a 3-0 reversal at The Mornflake Stadium as two set-piece goals on the stroke of half-time from Dan Agyei and Kelvin Mellor proved decisive before Courtney Baker-Richardson added the final flourish with fifteen minutes to go.

The man in charge

Lee Bell is in charge for the Railwaymen, having stepped up from assistant manager to replace Alex Morris early last season.

It is Bell’s first managerial position after a playing career that saw him have to spells at Alex as well as representing Macclesfield Town, Mansfield Town and Burton Albion.

Ones to watch

The goals have been shared around the side so far this season with former Tranmere man Elliott Nevitt having found the net on ten occasions.

Chris Long and Courtney Baker-Richardson have nine apiece, whilst Mickey Demetriou has settled in well since arriving from Newport with seven goals and six assists.

Jack Powell has four assists from midfield with Rio Adebisi offering a creative outlet from a defensive position.

Former Town loanee Josh Austerfield moved to the club on loan in January and found the back of the net in the victory over Stockport with defender Ed Turns also arriving until the end of the season from Premier League side Brighton.


The club was formed back in 1877, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals in 1888 and became a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892.

They were then invited to join the new Third Division North in 1921, where they would remain for almost four decades, then being placed in the new Fourth Division before finally earning a promotion in 1962/63.

Relegation was swift however and the club spent the next two decades in the lower reaches of the league before a change in fortunes under Dario Gradi, who oversaw the club for over 20 years, leading Alex to promotion to the third tier before reaching the second tier in 1997, where they stayed for eight of the next nine seasons.

During Gradi’s time in charge the club saw the likes of David Platt, Neil Lennon, Rob Jones, Craig Hignett and Dean Ashton all make moves to top-flight clubs.

The club fell though would fall back down the divisions, dropping to the bottom division in 2009, before subsequently bouncing between League One and League Two with last season ending in their relegation.

Team news

Simon Weaver continues to be without long term absentees Mark Oxley, Lewis Thomas and Rod McDonald.

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Match Reports

Crewe 0-0 Town - Crewe point secures return to Play-Off places

17 February 2024

A hard fought point away at fourth placed Crewe Alexandra moved Harrogate Town back into the SkyBet League Two Play-Off places.

Anthony O'Connor and James Belshaw both produced inspired moments at the end to keep the high flying hosts out and help Town to a clean sheet on the road.

Both sides named unchanged starting line-ups going into the game, with former Town loanee Josh Austerfield starting for the home side.

Not letting Tuesday night’s heavy defeat play on their minds it was Town who created the first chance of the game when Abraham Odoh released Matty Daly, though his left footed finish was just off target.

That would turn out to be the best chance of the first half, with Crewe finding everything they threw at Town well dealt with by Anthony O’Connor, Liam Gibson and co.

Crewe were forced into a change midway through the first half as Captain Luke Offord was forced off, with Ryan Cooney taking his place, while Dean Cornelius and Derrick Abu picked up the only yellow cards of the half.

Town grew in confidence the longer the half stayed goalless and continued to pose a threat on the counter attack, though Gibson and Stephen Dooley were still required to be at their best at the other end to put an end to attacks from the home side.

Lee Bell made two changes at the break intriducing Charlie Kirk and Shilow Tracey, which helped his side gain a foothold in the game and produce sustained pressure on the Harrogate goal for the first time.

Most of the hosts chances fell for Courtney Baker-Richardson, though the Crewe number nine couldn't hit the target with any of his three headed attempts, the last of which cannoned back off the post.

Tracey was next to go close for the hosts, but found James Belshaw in the way of Crewe's only on target effort inside 90 minutes.

Weaver opted to freshen up the midfield with Josh Falkingham and Levi Sutton both introduced, but the hosts continued to apply heavy pressure in the hope of a breakthrough.

Heroic contributions late in the game by O'Connor and Belshaw would ensure Town held on to a hard fought point, O'Connor executing a perfectly timed sliding challenge to block Shilow's strike.

Deep in added time Belshaw somehow kept out Kirk's sweetly struck volley that looked destined to break Town hearts, securing a result that moved Harrogate back into the play-off positions.

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