Harrogate Town fans are celebrating the achievement of staying in EFL League Two for the second consecutive year, after their safety was confirmed with three games to spare. It is a phenomenal achievement for the club, which had never competed in the English Football League before being promoted as 2019-20 National League play-off winners. Their fate was confirmed after a 3-0 loss away at Northampton Town, and they are now promotion candidates according to preseason tips from sites like BetBull, who provide free bets and other sign up offers via oddschecker that can be used for League Two and other major UK sports competitions. So, the Sulphurites have no reason to be ashamed of that result, or the fact that there were celebrations at the end, as securing League Two safety is a great achievement that affords the club and its fans the luxury of looking forward to next season.
Remaining in League Two is undoubtedly the most overwhelmingly positive aspect of Harrogate’s season because it was the club’s main objective at the start of the 2021/22 campaign. Fans will look back at key wins over the course of the season that set the team on the right track, such as the opening day home win over Rochdale, which was achieved thanks to a 92nd minute Warren Burrell winner. The February 2-0 win over Bradford City at Wetherby Road was also a crucial moment, as well as the dominant 3-0 away win over Scunthorpe.
Another positive for Harrogate has been the team’s attacking play, which has resulted in a goals tally that any mid-table club would be proud of. The likes of Jack Muldoon and on-loan Sunderland winger Jack Diamond have shouldered the goalscoring burden with both reaching double figures.
While the Sulphurites’ goal total was a huge plus point of the season and arguably the main reason the team achieved safety, the number of goals conceded was probably the reason for the club’s relegation struggles. At the time when safety was confirmed for Harrogate, after the Northampton loss, only bottom club Scunthorpe had conceded more goals than Simon Weaver’s side. If Town had performed as well in defence as they did in attack, they would probably have had a much more comfortable run-in.
Hopes for Next Season
Improving the defence will be Weaver’s first priority once the season is over, but with financial problems continuing to plague clubs at League Two level, the Harrogate coach will probably have to find solutions via the loan market or internally. Getting the team to concede fewer goals while retaining their attacking prowess would transform Harrogate’s league campaign next season.