Free entry to Harrogate Town v Brackley Town

Harrogate Town supporters (1510241AM14)
Harrogate Town supporters (1510241AM14)

Harrogate Town are handing fans an early Christmas present by opening their gates for free for the visit of Brackley Town on Saturday.

Adults and children will be given free access to the CNG Stadium for the 3pm kick-off.

The club will continue a weekend feast of football on Wetherby Road with a Ladies exhibition day 24 hours later, which will feature Liverpool captain and England international Gemma Bonner.

Town’s board are praying for the weather Gods to allow the proceedings to take place – after a weekend of postponements across the district last weekend.

Town director Ged Maloney said: “If we can get a good performance and attract a huge crowd, it will be a manna from heaven.”

Town last gave out a mass freebie to fans following their momentous FA Cup run in 2012. More than a thousand people attended their 5-1 win over Hinkley United, the game after Simon Weaver’s men exited the famous competition at the hands of Southern League outfit Hastings.

Town director Ged Maloney believes the club's fans are providing a 'more entertaining' experience than they did in 2012

Town director Ged Maloney believes the club's fans are providing a 'more entertaining' experience than they did in 2012

Maloney added: “It was a tremendous success but that was the year when the pitch was dire and we didn’t play a home game again for ten weeks.

“There will be a lot of people whose last time at the ground will have been the Hastings game.

“I would suggest we are a more entertaining football team and our supporters are much more entertaining.”

Brackley have had difficulties travelling north to Harrogate in the past and were hammered 5-0 at the CNG Stadium 12 months ago.

Harrogate Town (1510241AM2)

Harrogate Town (1510241AM2)

Town also thumped them 6-1 under Weaver in the 2012 campaign, however, the 16th placed Northamptonshire side won the reverse fixture between the two teams 1-0 in August.

Danny Ellis should return to the Town starting line-up after a month-long spell on the sidelines but defensive partner Luke Shiels will need to prove his fitness in the run-up to the clash.

Town are holding exhibition day on Sunday in a bid to attract youth talents for a soon to be founded Harrogate Town womens team. Bonner will host a question and answer session after a match between a combined West Riding side and a team from the USA Sports Recruiting programme (kick-off 12pm)

Meanwhile, Town’s West Riding County Cup semi-final at home against Silsden AFC has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 9 (7.45pm).