Airdrie excited by plum cup tie against Harrogate Town

Barnoldswick Town could have to contain Brendon Daniels of Harrogate Town, second-top scorer in the National League North
Barnoldswick Town could have to contain Brendon Daniels of Harrogate Town, second-top scorer in the National League North
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Barnoldswick Town have been handed a plush tie in the quarter-final of the West Riding County Cup against Vanarama National League North outfit Harrogate Town.

Stewart Airdrie’s side are scheduled to make the trip to Wetherby Road on December 8th, having thrashed Harrogate Railway Athletic 5-0 in the last round.

Three divisions separate the two clubs in the football pyramid, with Simon Weaver’s men - currently occupying the final play-off spot in the sixth tier - just four points behind leaders Nuneaton with a game in hand.

While Town reached the final of the competition in 2010, losing 5-4 to Garforth Town after extra-time, their North Yorkshire opposition have made the final five times out of the last 15, lifting the trophy on three of those occasions.

“We’ve been drawn away at Harrogate Town in the quarter-final,” said Airdrie. “We’re looking forward to it because we’re out of all the other cup competitions.

“This is a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against a team that are three divisions above us.

“It’s a brilliant draw for a club like ourselves, being able to play teams of that calibre and it’ll be a massive feather in our cap if we can go there, compete and win. It’s a nice ground for us to go and play at, and somewhere that we haven’t been before. It’ll be a great experience.

“We’re all looking forward to playing a team at that level. Some of the younger lads at the club aspire to push through the leagues, so it’ll be interesting to see what the gap is like between the two of us.

“It’ll certainly test the character that we’ve got within the group, but I think the players will relish this test.”

Airdrie’s first objective, however, is to get Town back on track in the North West Counties Premier Division. They travel to fourth place Runcorn Linnets tomorrow having picked up just nine points from their last 10 league outings.

“That tie is quite a way down the line though, and we’ve got a lot of tough fixtures before then,” Airdrie said.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do before we can think about the cup. A couple of wins from our next sequence of games will really tighten things up and help us push on.

“We haven’t played for a while but there are no excuses because we’ve been training hard. We will go in to the game full of confidence.

“We’ve had a little bit of a blip in form but we’ve still been playing good football.

“Runcorn Linnets are always there or thereabouts, they’re having another good season, so we’ll see how far off we are.”