Harrogate Town striker Ashley Worsfold closes in on return

Ashley Worsfold
Ashley Worsfold

Star striker Ashley Worsfold could make his return to Harrogate Town colours next week.

The forward broke his leg a week before the season started and his presence up front has been missed during a luckless season in front of goal.

Town have scored the second fewest number of goals in the Vanarama Conference North, finding the net 28 times in 28 matches.

Worsfold, who is awaiting news on the birth of his first child, will miss Saturday’s trip to Gainsborough Trinity.

But boss Simon Weaver is considering using the 24-year-old against Garforth Town in the West Riding County Cup home semi-final on Tuesday (7.45pm).

However, defender Luke Shiels is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a medial ligament injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Solihull Moors (page 95).

Adam Nowakowski replaced Shiels on Saturday, but Matt Bloomer or Leigh Franks are the frontrunners to take his place alongside David McGurk this Saturday.

Weaver said: “It’s a real blow. Luke has probably been one of the players of the season.”

Andy Gascoigne’s winner against Solihull lifted Town up to 14th and eased the club’s relegation fears.

The goal was the midfielder’s second in as many matches, and gave Town back-to-back victories in the league for the first time since November.

Weaver added: “Andy has been impressive in all areas of his game, but particularly his ability to break into the box and drive forward with both feet.

“The win against Boston United gave us the opportunity to keep everything the same and the attitude was fantastic again.”

Town have had interest from Hednesford Town, Leamington and Solihull Moors over a potential loan move for Lloyd Kerry but no deal has been confirmed.

A loan move for Rhys Meynell to Bradford Park Avenue also looks to have broken down.

Meanwhile, it will be a case of friends reunited when Gainsborough welcome Town on Saturday. Former Town players Dom Roma, Paul Beesley, Dan Clayton and Jonny Margetts could all line up for the Lincolnshire side, and Weaver admitted it made Town’s challenge tougher.

Gainsborough are two spots below Town and have lost the second most amount of matches, only ahead of whipping boys Hyde.

He said: “They have a good line-up and probably more of a threat because they have players that have played here.

“When you play against a former team you always want to prove a point.”