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06 January 2024 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match preview - Town welcome Doncaster in first Yorkshire Derby of 2024

3 January 2024

Despite the injury time frustration that saw Town forced to settle for a point at Morecambe on New Years Day it was another strong performance from Simon Weaver’s side to usher in 2024 and the second half of the season.

And this weekend Town are back on home turf with a lunchtime kick-off against Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers, looking to continue a run of form that could see them push towards the playoff places.

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Our opponents

Rovers finished the 2022/23 season in 18th place on 55 points and they come into this game one place lower in 19th spot, although they sit comfortably 10 points above the drop zone.

They do though come into the clash on the back of a find 3-0 win against in-form MK Dons on New Year's Day which ended a five-game winless run.

On the road they have taken just eight points and secured two wins from 12 games, also failing to find the target on five occasions.

Previous meetings

Town triumphed at the Eco-Power Stadium on opening day, courtesy of Jack Muldoon’s second-half penalty.

Last season at the Envirovent Stadium there was an entertaining draw as Town came from 2-0 down to take a share of the spoils thanks Luke Armstrong and an equaliser on the hour from Tom Eastman.

The man in charge

Grant McCann is the man in charge for Rovers, having returned to the club in the summer to replace Danny Schofield. McCann had previously been in charge during the 2018/19 season as well as having two spells at Peterborough United as well as being at the helm at Hull City.

A former Northern Ireland international, earning 39 caps, McCann had a career that saw him play over 500 league games starting at West Ham before moving to Cheltenham, Barnsley, Scunthorpe and Peterborough United.

Ones to watch

Joe Ironside had a prolific season when he was last in League Two, forming a formidable partnership with Paul Mullin in Cambridge’s promotion charge. Ironside has 11 goals and four assists in his first season at the club.

He will likely line-up alongside youngster Mo Faal, who has netted seven times after a summer loan move from West Brom.

Luke Molyneux will be a creative threat from midfield with the club, supported by Harrison Biggins and veteran Tommy Rowe.

In defence, Owen Bailey has been ever present, forming a partnership with Jospeh Olowu, whilst Jack Senior has impressed in his first season in league football. Louis Jones will be between the sticks after taking over in goal from Ian Lawlor part way through the season.

History

After being founded back in 1879 the club were elected to the Football League in 1901, however lost re-election votes soon after and returned to non-league before finally rejoining the Football League in 1923.

The club would go on to win Third Division North titles in the mid-1930’s and late 1940’s, bouncing between the bottom two tiers from the 1960’s onwards before suffering relegation out of the league in 1998.

It took the club five seasons to get back into the EFL, then securing an immediate promotion from League Two before winning the League One playoffs in 2007 to reach the second tier for the first time in their history.

Team news

Town continue to be without Mark Oxley, Jonathan Mitchell, Toby Sims and Rod McDonald but will hope to have Stephen Dooley back available after the midfielder missed the past two games.

 

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Match Reports

Harrogate Town 3-1 Doncaster Rovers - Town secure Derby double with 3-1 win

6 January 2024

Town made it a Yorkshire Derby double over Doncaster Rovers with a 3-1 win at The Envirovent Stadium.

The sides were level at the break as Sam Folarin's opener was cancelled out by visiting skipper Tommy Rowe, but a strong second half performance ensured Harrogate claimed the points.

James Daly's first for the club restored the lead for his side, before an excellent individual effort from Abraham Odoh put the result beyond doubt.

Simon Weaver made one change to his side from New Years Day's draw at Morecambe as Stephen Dooley returned to the starting lineup.

After a fairly uneventful opening quarter of an hour the contest burst into life with two goals just two minutes apart.

Town would strike first through Sam Folarin, he exchanged passes with Abraham Odoh and sidefooted past Louis Jones in the Doncaster goal.

Donny hit back almost instantly though through Captain Tommy Rowe, who unleashed an unstoppable effort from just outside the area.

Kayne Ramsay would go close next for Town, firing over the bar, before the visitors began to enjoy a spell of possession.

Most of Grant McCann's side's threat was coming down the left through Modou Faal, but Ramsay and Dean Cornelius were able to block both his efforts.

The best chance for either side to take a half time lead fell to Odoh after Jack Muldoon had held the ball up well and found his teammate. Odoh's first touch set up a finish, but he dragged his effort across goal and just wide of the post.

Faal did have another late chance, but his eight yard effort deflected off Liam Gibson and over the bar.

Weaver was forced into a change at half time as goalscorer Folarin was unable to continue, James Daly his replacement.

Both sides had big chances at the start of the second half, but couldn't make them count.

First Luke Molyneux volleyed over from close range after Rowe had picked him out, just minutes before Matty Foulds' corner wasn't cleared and nearly allowed Thomson to poke home from close range.

Town would retake the lead in the 66th minute through half time substitute Daly who claimed his first in a Town shirt.

Thomson found the overlapping run of Ramsay who dinked the ball to the far post where Daly got the better of his man to slide the ball home.

It was three for the home side under ten minutes later as Odoh scored the pick of the afternoon's goals, dribbling infield from the left and sending an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

With a two goal lead, Town looked comfortable in the final 20 minutes and secured an important three points that lifts Weaver's side to 11th in SkyBet League Two.

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