Harrogate Town v Wrexham, Saturday 6th November 2021, 3pm

It was FA Cup time again, with this First Round tie extending my run of attendance to all seven rounds to date, starting back in August with the Extra Preliminary Round at Ryhope. I’d picked Harrogate Town on the basis of proximity to Teesside and that I’d not been before. They are also in the Football League these days so it’s another tick on the ‘92’ list.

Parking could potentially have been a nightmare. I drove past the ground and followed the parking signs which took me into the town centre. The first option was full and the second so far away that I turned around and retraced my route back past the EnviroVent Stadium, eventually finding a spot in the housing estates about fifteen minute’s walk away.

I’d bought my ticket online in advance for the Black Sheep Stand. At sixteen quid it was a pound cheaper than the adjacent seated stand but that one looked a little on the small side and I thought I’d have better prospects for distancing if I stood. There was a good view despite the single stanchion plus I got a barrier to lean on and nobody came too close. Ideal.

I missed the Wrexham goal just before half-time as I was making my way around the back of the stand to join the line for the tea hut. The visitors had started well and had brought close to six hundred fans with them which meant that they filled the stand behind the far goal and most of the stand opposite me.

The tea-hut queue had a much shorter separate line for those just wanting a drink rather than food or both. I joined that one and then switched to the stand behind the goal for the second half. This was much smaller than the Black Sheep Stand, effectively three or four rows deep and with the benefit of less wind and rain ingress.

Harrogate turned it around late on with two goals at the far end. Wrexham gave it a go and had a couple of corners in stoppage time where, with the goalie up, they came close to an equalizer. It wasn’t to be though and it’s Harrogate that will be in the draw for the Second Round.

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