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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

30 October 2021 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview - Harrogate v Rovers

29 October 2021

Rovers make the long journey to the The EnviroVent Stadium as they face Harrogate Town this weekend. Here is the lowdown ahead of the fixture.

Rovers head into the game off the back of a 1-3 home defeat against Newport County and will be looking to return to winning ways when they take on Harrogate Town this weekend. 

Rovers are unbeaten in their last three games away from home picking up 5 points in the process with a win against Walsall and two draws against Bradford City and Colchester United.

Manager's Preview

Rovers boss, Joey Barton sat down with local press on Thursday morning. Offering his thoughts on our recent form and previewing Saturday's opponents.


Opposistion View

Harrogate Town Manager, Simon Weaver shared his views on Rovers ahead of Saturday's clash. 

Speaking to Weaver spoke on Rovers season so far and James Belshaw's return to The EnviroVent Stadium.

"I think they have alluded to it before in interviews that they probably put pressure on themselves because they are huge at this level, like Bolton last year and so there probably is more outside pressure and inward pressure at that club than ours. But we don't want to be the club that triggers a turn in momentum for them, they've got some very good players, huge pedigree and experience so it's going to be a tough game."

On Belshaw's return

"He played a massive role for us and it will be good to see him again and I hope our fans give him a really good and deserving reception when he goes to the kop or the other end, which I'm sure he'll get. He made a massive contribution over a number of years and we're really thankful for that."


Form Guide

Harrogate have enjoyed a bright start to their second season in the Football League as they sit 5th in the Sky Bet League Two standings with 23 points from 14 games so far this season. In their previous fixture, a 3-2 away loss against nearby Hartlepool was only their third loss of the season. All of The Sulphurites losses this season have come away from Wetherby Road with them yet to lose at home in the league this season. Their other two defeats coming against Colchester and Port Vale. 

Their recent form has seen Simon Weaver's side pick up eight points from their last six games including an impressive 6-1 win against bottom of the table, Scunthorpe. 

Forward, Luke Armstrong has been in stellar form for Hartlepool this season. Scoring eight goals and registering two assists in 14 league games this season with a overall rating of 7.86



View From the Press Bench 

Rhys Howell, Sports Editor for the Harrogate Advertiser has provided fans with an insight into Saturday's encounter.

"Harrogate Town made a flying start to 2021/22, winning their first three matches despite being hit by a Covid-19 outbreak immediately after a 3-2 opening-day success over Rochdale.

'They maintained their impressive form all the way through to the middle of October, losing just one of their first 13 matches in all competitions.

'The contribution of centre forward Luke Armstrong - eight goals in 14 appearances - and Alex Pattison - five from midfield already  has been crucial, with the Sulphurites currently the leading scorers in League Two.

'They have been less impressive at the opposite end of the field, however, managing just two clean-sheets in the league and are currently enduring something of a blip.

'Two defeats in the space of a week at Colchester, then Hartlepool - where they surrendered a 2-0 half-time lead - dropped them from second down to fifth place and mean that Simon Weaver and his men await the visit of Bristol Rovers having taken just a single point from the last nine on offer."

Ref Watch

Marc Edwards is the man in the middle for Saturday's contest. Edwards has officiated one game so far in the Sky Bet League Two this season in Sutton United's 1-3 away victory over Colchester United. Across League One, League Two and the League Cup, Edwards has produced 26 yellow cards and one red card in eight games. This season, Edwards averages 21.63 fouls per game and 3.25 yellow cards per game.


Betting Preview

League sponsors Sky Bet have Rovers priced at 14/5 to pick up three points on Saturday. On the goalscorer markets, Brett Pitman is 5/2 to score at any time in the match, with Antony Evans priced at 11/1 to open the scoring.

To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE. Please bet responsibly.

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Match Reports

Match Report - Harrogate Town 0-1 Rovers

30 October 2021

Nick Anderton’s first goal for Rovers midway through the second half provided the platform for three points – stretching the Gas’ unbeaten run away from home to four games.

Luke Thomas and Sam Nicholson both fashioned first-half chances for Rovers, who lost Brett Pitman through injury just 10-minutes into the encounter.

Belshaw was alert to make saves from attempts from Alex Pattison and Muldoon on his return to The EnviroVent Stadium, as the deadlock remained in place at the halfway stage.

Rovers were on top after the break, with Anderton’s close-range goal just after the hour mark coming after a period of ascendancy for Joey Barton’s side.

The Gas tended the one-goal lead for the remainder of the game, securing the three points on offer.

Paul Coutts, Cian Harries and Junior Brown come into the starting XI against Harrogate Town. Alfie Kilgour, Nick Anderton and Aaron Collins are named on the substitutes bench. Harries is available for Rovers again following his one-match ban which he picked up in our 1-1 draw against Colchester United. 1st year scholar, Jarmani Langlais, is named on the bench for the first time.

Before kick-off, both sets of players and supporters observed a minute's silence to pay respect to fallen service personnel, with the encounter being Harrogate’s Remembrance fixture.


In a lively opening start, both teams had chances in the opening five minutes. From a set-piece inside the hosts' half, Rovers tested Oxley as Luke Thomas took aim with a low effort that required attention from the Harrogate ‘keeper. At the other end, Muldoon was played in behind the Rovers backline, with Belshaw quick off his line to smoother the opportunity for the forward to muster a shot.

The low sun and slippery playing surface made conditions tricky. A long-range effort from Thompson swerved and veered in the air, with Belshaw making a comfortable stop from the attempt.

Rovers were forced into an early change when injury abruptly ended Brett Pitman’s afternoon. The forward was replaced by Alfie Kilgour, who quickly took up a position as right-back along the Rovers backline.

The Rovers goalkeeper was called on again when Diamond snatched possession on the edge of the Rovers area and fed a pass to the feet of Pattison, who curled an effort on target that Belshaw watched into his arms.

Midway through the first half, a neat turn in the middle of the park by Luke Thomas opened the opportunity for the playmaker to piece a lofted ball in the path of Sam Nicholson. The pass looked inch-perfect to the run into the path of the winger, with Smith covering for the hosts to prevent Nicholson from getting the chance to fashion a shot. Smith’s intervention sparked protests of handball from Nicholson, who seemed convinced the defender used his hand in the pursuit of the bouncing ball, but the referee signalled for play to continue.


As half-time approached, Rovers registered the best opportunity of the game. Luke Thomas worked space inside the Harrogate area to flash a low cross that swerved diagonally towards the hosts' goal. The delivery sparked Page to bolt into the six-yard box and dig out a risky clearance over his own crossbar, which could have easily resulted in an own-goal.

Rovers ended the first half firmly on the front foot, with Sam Nicholson edging a low effort inches wide of the goal frame inside stoppage time.

After the interval, both sides took a period of time to settle back into the rhythm of the game. Antony Evans saw a forceful volley from outside the area palmed away by Oxley, in what was the first goalmouth action of the second half.

Rovers took the lead in the contest on the stroke of the hour. Glenn Whelan recycled the ball, after a Rovers set-piece was only half-cleared. Whelan’s delivery was headed back across goal by Kilgour, where Nick Anderton was well poised to glance home a finish that nestled off the upright on its way beyond Oxley.


The Gas looked comfortable guarding the lead and could have added to their tally when Luke Thomas jinked inside the Harrogate area, only to lose his footing at a crucial moment when he was shaping up to shoot.

Rovers are in Emirates FA Cup action next weekend, facing Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Harrogate Town: Mark Oxley, Lewis Page, Josh Falkingham (C), Will Smith, Warren Burrell, George Thomson (68’ Danilo Orsi), Alex Pattison, Jack Muldoon (68’ Simon Power), Connor Hall, Jack Diamond, Luke Armstrong (72’ Aaron Martin).

Subs: Joe Cracknell, Nathan Sheron, Lloyd Kerry.

Rovers: James Belshaw, Luke Thomas (90' Collins), Sam Nicholson, Paul Coutts (C), Connor Taylor, Harry Anderson, Antony Evans, Cian Harries, Glenn Whelan, Junior Brown (45’ Nick Anderton), Brett Pitman (10’ Alfie Kilgour).

Subs: Jed Ward, Pablo Martinez, Zain Westbrooke, Jarmani Langlais.

Attendance: 2,614

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Ticket News

Ticket Info - Harrogate Town Sold Out

24 October 2021

Tickets for our trip to Harrogate Town are now sold out.

Rovers head the EnviroVent Stadium on Saturday, 30th October (3pm KO).

We have sold out the full away allocation of over 600 tickets. 

Tickets won't be available on the day, due to the allocation of away areas being sold out. 


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