Rail’ eye knock-out shock in Boxing Day derby

Photo: David Hurst'Bamber Bridge FC V Harrogate Railway Athletic at Irongate'Alistair Waddecar scores
Photo: David Hurst'Bamber Bridge FC V Harrogate Railway Athletic at Irongate'Alistair Waddecar scores

Harrogate Railway boss Billy Miller has backed his squad to pull off a Boxing Day shock as they battle the festive period.

Railway welcome high-flying Farsley Celtic on Saturday before another home outing against Kendal Town on Saturday (3pm).

Miller’s men will then hot-foot down the M1 and take on relegation-threatened Wakefield on New Year’s Day.

Saturday’s visitors Kendal Town dropped down from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier league last season.

Dangerman Daniel Mitchley’s 17 goals helped Town head into Christmas seventh in Evo-Stik First Division North, lurking ten points off the play-off places.

The impressive Farsley lie second in the table, whilst Wakefield remain rooted in the drop zone.

“We have some great games coming up over the next few weeks,” said Miller.

“Farsley, how hard is that going to be?

“They are deservedly right up there in the league because they are a top side.

“But we are at that stage of the year when there will be a few surprises.

“Teams can easily let their guard down around Christmas.

“We just have to make sure we are on our game, and we can pick up points.”

Si Parkes could miss the clash through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card this season against Ossett Town.

Steve Bromley could also be unavailable after he sat on the sidelines for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Warrington Town.

Bromley sustained an ankle injury earlier this month and Miller said he would not rush the autumn signing back into the frame.

He said: “Players will come back at the right time. Steve might be available for the Farsley game, but we will have to check on him.

“We will have a really difficult period where we play five games in 14 days.

“That is going to stretch the squad’s limitations but we don’t want to rush any player back.”

Railway’s tough run of games will come on the back of three straight defeats.

Warrington showed their table topping class at Cantilever Park on Saturday as two second-half strikes denied stubborn Railway.

Goalkeeper Peter Crook, on dual registration with Harrogate Town, pulled off two quality saves to ensure the score remained goalless at the break.

But Ciaran Kilheeney prodded Town into a second-half lead before substitute Chris Gaghan ended Railway’s hopes with six minutes remaining.

Billy Miller handed a debut to new winger Michael Jordan as he replaced veteran wideman Colin Hunter.

The youngster could be given a starting spot today if Hunter misses the fixture through suspension.

Meantime, dual-registered striker Paul Beesley has signed for Skrill North Bradford Park Avenue on a short-term deal from Harrogate Town.