Skip to main content Skip to site footer

PREVIEW | Rovers U18s vs Harrogate U18s

29 September 2023


PREVIEW | Rovers U18s vs Harrogate U18s

29 September 2023

Sponsored by

Rovers U18s welcome reigning EFL Youth Alliance League champions Harrogate Town to the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre on Saturday for their latest league fixture.

Frank Sinclair’s side will be looking for a return to the home form of last season following an unfortunate defeat last time out at Mansfield Town.

The youth team will want to right the wrongs of last season when the two sides played out two entertaining 2-2 draws in the second half season after Harrogate took a 5-2 victory at the York St John University Sports Park in October 2022.

Last season

The North Yorkshire side won their first ever EFL Youth Alliance League title last season with 51 points from their 25 league fixtures – taking 15 wins in the process.

In the FA Youth Cup, Harrogate exited the competition at the first round stage against Stockport County as the Hatters snatched a 2-1 victory in the 93rd minute.

In the EFL Youth Alliance League Cup, the Sulphurites were dumped out in the group stages after finishing in fourth place in group two with only five points.

Recent form

Harrogate head to South Yorkshire with two wins from their open five games in the Youth Alliance League but those two successes came in Town’s first two games. They are winless in three and have lost their last two games against Lincoln City and Burton Albion respectively. The Sulphurites also fell to a 5-0 loss against Hull City in the Professional Development League Cup.

Sinclair’s side head into the game still in search of a first league win after a loss at Mansfield Town last time out. That result came after a cup victory against Huddersfield Town and a draw with the Terriers the following week. Rovers’ only other league fixture ended in a tight 3-2 loss at Rotherham United.

The competition

Rovers’ youngsters continue to sit in 10th place in the EFL Youth Alliance League following last week’s defeat but have only played three games in comparison to the five of Harrogate Town who sit in fourth.

Burton Albion are the league’s new leaders with maximum points from their opening four games and Hartlepool United sit just a point behind the Brewers having drawn last weekend.

Notts County remain routed to the bottom of the division following a 5-0 loss against Bradford City last time out and the Magpies have now conceded 15 goals in their opening five matches.

Managers comments

Having played out two entertaining matches against Harrogate last season, professional development phase coach Frank Sinclair is expecting yet another good battle with the Sulphurites.

He said: “It’ll be a good game against Harrogate, they won the league last year and they’re a solid outfit so it’ll be a good test for our boys.

“We’re expecting a few bodies back so that’ll help us but we’re expecting another really good challenge.

“At the minute our younger lads are having to step up and a lot of our first year scholars are having to take the lead because of what we have available so it’ll be a good test for where they’re at.

“Obviously we’ll have players still playing up in terms of their age but it’ll be a really good game for their development too.

“We’re expecting a strong opposition again like we usually do, so we’ll make sure we’re ready for it and go into the game in the best position that we possibly can be.”

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account