The League Managers Association’s panel, comprising LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Chris Hughton, Joe Royle, Dave Bassett, Barry Fry and Rachel Yankey, has determined that the LMA Performance of the Week Award should go to Harrogate Town for their impressive 4-0 victory against Southend United in their first ever Football League match on 12th September 2020.
The experienced and highly distinguished panel has managed a combined total of over 6,500 competitive matches in professional football.
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver will receive a celebratory bottle of champagne, courtesy of Tanners Wines, and an LMA Performance of the Week trophy in a presentation to commemorate the result.
Simon Weaver’s side produced a performance to match the occasion as our first Football League fixture ended in a 4-0 win at Southend.
Jack Muldoon got the ball rolling after 25 minutes, netting Town’s first goal in the Football League with a well taken low finish, before Lloyd Kerry doubled the lead a minute before the break.
Aaron Martin’s first Town goal on the hour mark put the result beyond doubt, before Muldoon rounded the scoring to send Town top of League Two after the first round of matches.
Simon Weaver opted for five changes from Tuesday night’s draw at Grimsby as Josh Falkingham, George Thomson, Mark Beck, Aaron Martin and Connor Hall all came into the side.
Beck was handed his first start ot the season, partnering Martin up front with Jack Muldoon starting in a wide left position, while Friday night additions Dan Jones and Melvin Minter were on the bench.
Despite a bright start from Town, Joe Cracknell made the first save of the game, keeping out Shaun Hobson’s long range strike.
The combination of Muldoon, Beck and Martin were causing Southend problems and combined for a chance moments later as Beck’s knockdown was fired over by Muldoon.
Martin was looking lively, not giving the Shrimpers back line a moments peace and almost found his range with a powerful drive in the 23rd minute that whistled over the bar.
History was made in the 25th minute as Muldoon claimed Town’s first ever Football League goal.
Martin won his aerial battle inside the area, teeing up Muldoon who expertly took the ball down on his chest and lashed past Mark Oxley in the Southend net.
Martin should have made it two eight minutes from the interval after Thomson had picked him out with a fizzed cross, but the striker’s header was well read by Oxley.
It was Kerry who would provide Town with a deserved second, fittingly picking up a loose ball on the edge of the area and beating Oxley with a powerful strike.
The hardest Cracknell had to work for his clean sheet was a save at full stretch four minutes after the breaking, Town’s keeper diving to his right to deny Kelman clawing a goal back.
The closest Southend came to finding the net was in the 57th minute though as a left sided cross left everyone standing before bouncing back off the post and into the arms of a grateful Cracknell.
With an hour gone, Martin notched his first Town goal in style, outmuscling his marker and firing into the roof of the net on the turn.
Nine minutes later it was four as Muldoon curled into the top right corner. Martin had caught Shaun Hobson napping and poked the ball back to his teammate, who did the rest.
With a four goal lead, Town continued to press, probe and dominate proceedings to ensure they ended the day top of League Two.