Since climbing into the Football League in 2020 following a 3-1 win over Notts County in the National League play-off final, Harrogate Town finished 17th in the 2020/21 season and 19th for the last two.
Their play-off win over such a historic club was huge but was unfortunately played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus restrictions at the time.
The team has solidified their position as a football league side since then and the early signs are showing that they are on course to do that again this season.
Having played 16 games, Harrogate is in 18th position having won six, drawn one, and lost nine.
The current favourites for the drop this season are Sutton United who sit rock bottom on 10 points with Tranmere narrowly behind, who are in on the same points but are one position better off, thanks to their goal difference.
Forest Green is the next favourite for the drop before Harrogate comes into contention as fourth favourite with odds of 13/2 at many new UK betting sites for 2023.
More optimistic fans might fancy a punt at 9/2 for Harrogate to finish in the top half or 22/1 to reach the play-offs. Of course, these odds will fluctuate as the season progresses and fans can explore what the bookies have to offer for competitive odds and bonuses.
While most won’t expect to reach the playoffs this season, a top-half finish isn’t outside the realms of possibility.
A 5-1 victory away to Northern Premier League side Marine in the F.A. Cup on the 4th of November will do wonders for their confidence. Sam Folarin’s double leaves the young winger on 5 goals from 18 games making him Harrogate’s top scorer so far this season.
Experienced midfield George Thompson has an impressive four goals from his 16 appearances and exciting young talent Matty Daly has chipped in with two goals and four assists so far this term.
Veteran striker Jack Muldoon has only chipped in with one goal from his 10 appearances. However, as the club’s all-time top goalscorer, his experience and love for the club are sure to be pivotal to the team’s success.
Another important player for Harrogate this year will be Rod McDonald. The 31-year-old joined from Crewe on a free transfer following a player of the season performance last year.
The 6ft 3″ centre-back will be instrumental in suring up a defence that conceded 68 goals in last season’s 46 league games.
Usually, the teams that are promoted to League 2 would be among the favourites to drop back down. However, Wrexham and Notts County were both promoted with record-breaking seasons and have continued that form. They currently occupy the second and third spots respectively.
One good thing about this could be the attention the league receives thanks to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s involvement and subsequent documentary.
Harrogate’s third last fixture of the season at home against Sutton United could be crucial to survival, but many will be hoping safety will be guaranteed by then.