Sport

Harwood ready to see off rivals

IT'S Division Two Trophy action for Great Harwood on Friday night as they travel to local rivals Darwen in the first leg of their semi-final (Ko 7.45pm).
READY FOR BATTLE... Great Harwood in action.

IT'S Division Two Trophy action for Great Harwood on Friday night as they travel to local rivals Darwen in the first leg of their semi-final (Ko 7.45pm).

Both sides, challenging for promotion, know each other well and boss John Hughes is expecting it to be a cracking tie.

"All the lads are mates and it is a local derby." said Hughes.

"Of course we want to win and it should be a competitive match, a real battle, on what will probably be a muddy surface."

The first leg is at the Anchor Ground while next Friday, the second leg is at the Showground.

"I am glad we are at home second," continued the Harwood boss. "And I am glad we are playing at night. For some reason we play better at night as we showed last week."

"Our win at Castleton Gabriels was our best performance of the season under floodlights so we want a similar performance."

"We got to the semi-finals of this competition last year and lost on penalties so it would be nice to go one step further."

Harwood were meant to warm up to the Trophy tie with a league game at another of their local rivals Padiham but that was called off on Saturday because of the weather.

"I wasn't too bothered as we are struggling with injuries."

"Paul Mashiter was struggling for last week but he should be okay tonight and Darren Rodgers is on his way back."

"And John Eastham, after an operation on his knee, has started swimming and running although I don't want to rush him back."

The last time Darwen and Harwood battled it out in the league earlier this season, Harwood were the 4-3 victors in a tight game.

"I think Darwen have improved since we last played them," continued Hughes. "Their manager Steve Wilkes has got some young blood in mixed with experienced heads like Denis Hill and Denny Khan and they are a good side."

"But, even though Matty Derbyshire has left, I have just signed quality in Russell McKenna and Brian Fogarty and I think they will make a difference."

"And there should be a good crowd with it being Friday night and a local derby - that should spur us on."

Hughes has also signed Leigh Smith, a midfielder who has played in the local leagues, Liam Denning and Nev Nelson.

  • CHEADLE and Colne are in the other semi-final.