HARROGATE Town FA Cup hero Tom Platt has warned his parent club that Torquay’s top scorer Rene Howe could prove a handful at Bootham Crescent today.
Platt, currently on loan from York City, was a member of the Harrogate team who caused the biggest shock of the FA Cup’s first round when they won 1-0 at Torquay earlier this month.
City’s teenage youth-team graduate identified ten-goal Howe as the Gulls’ biggest threat on that day but also believes the home team can boss the middle of the pitch in today’s League Two encounter.
He said: “They had a few chances when we played them and the big lad up front Rene Howe is a good striker. He had a goal disallowed against us and he’s a bit of a handful.
“He’s one to watch out for but, with the players we have at York, I’m sure our midfield will be too good for them.”
Following Harrogate’s victory against Torquay and City’s extratime replay defeat at AFC Wimbledon, Platt has found himself in the unexpected position of lasting longer in the world-famous competition than the team he is contracted to, still trains with and who ply their trade two divisions higher.
On that scenario, ahead of next Saturday’s second round home meeting with Hastings United, Platt said: “It’s a bit of a strange feeling and I didn’t expect to be in this situation but it’s really exciting.
Tickets are going fast for the game and I think it’s going to be a sellout.
“I was hoping the lads would get through in the last round as well and, having watched the game on ESPN, I thought they played excellently with ten men. I think maybe a few people at Harrogate would have liked to have drawn York in the competition but I wouldn’t have fancied it.”
Unsurprisingly, Platt’s knowledge of Hastings is minimal but he believes the draw represents a great chance to reach the next stage, where the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool could lie in wait.
“Considering who you can get in the third round, it would be absolutely unbelievable to reach it at such an early stage in my career as a 19-year-old, first-year professional,”
Platt confessed. “I don’t know much about them but the gaffer at Harrogate has been down to see how they play and how they set up.
“They are in what is the equivalent of the league below Harrogate, which is strange to get somebody lower than Conference North in the second round of the FA Cup.”
With the third round due to be played after the planned expiry of Platt’s loan spell at the end of December, it could be interesting to see whether City chief Gary Mills is prepared to extend his stay.
Platt is certainly benefiting from playing regular senior football and, since his arrival at the club, he is yet to finish on a losing side, winning eight games and drawing two.
He missed Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Stalybridge Celtic and is doubtful for today’s FA Trophy clash against Gainsborough Trinity, having required three stitches for a wound to his knee.
But he is hoping to be involved in Tuesday’s home match against Bishop’s Stortford when he will be aiming to stake his claim for the huge Hastings clash.
Having scored twice in ten games during his loan stay at Harrogate last season, he has also managed to net three times during his latest spell and Platt added: “I’m really enjoying it.
“It’s good to be back playing games Saturday and Tuesday because it’s a bit frustrating when you’re not.”
Platt is not the only player with Minstermen connections that will be bidding for Cup glory next weekend at Wetherby Road either.
Former The Press Player of the Year Dave Merris is a Town favourite and has provided the crosses for all three of Platt’s goals.
“Dave has been putting great balls in for me,” Platt revealed. “I’ve scored two headers and he’s a very good player who takes most of the set-pieces.”
Loan star Danny’s dazzling November
ON-LOAN midfielder Danny Kearns has won The Press Player of the Month for November award ahead of today’s home match with Torquay.
Kearns has an unassailable nine-point gap at the top of the standings prior to this afternoon’s final fixture of the month.
He took charge of the contest with back-toback The Press man-of-the match awards against AFC Wimbledon in the 3-0 League defeat and the 4-3 FA Cup replay thriller, which was worth six points towards the competition.
The former West Ham trainee also polled the most man-of-the-match votes from visitors to our website, gaining the two Player of the Month bonus points available on both occasions.
Kearns could even afford not to pick up a point during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Port Vale, where The Press man-of-the-match Jamie Reed (three), Dan Parslow (two) and Michael Ingham (one) collected points.
The internet poll saw Parslow awarded with the two bonus points.
Against Wimbledon in the League, the other points were given to Jason Walker (two) and Oli Johnson as our second and third-highest rated players respectively.
Those honours went to Lanre Oyebanjo (two) and Jamal Fyfield (one) following the Cup replay.
To be in with a chance of presenting this month’s Press Player of the Month with their prize – a framed photograph – before a City home game, don’t forget to register your man of- the-match vote for today’s game.
Alternatively, you can tweet your choices to @daveflettpress
The Press Player of the Year latest standings (not including Player of the Month bonus points): C Smith 19, Walker 15, Blair 13, Parslow 13, Chambers 11, Ingham 11, Fyfield 10, Kearns 9, Coulson 7, Oyebanjo 6, Carlisle 5, J Smith 5, Doig 3, Reed 3, Blanchett 2, Taylor 2, Challinor 1, Johnson 1, Kerr 1, McLaughlin 1.
The Press Player of the Month November standings: Kearns 14, C Smith 5, Ingham 4, Parslow 4, Blair 3, Reed 3, Oyebanjo 2, Walker 2, Fyfield 1, Johnson 1, Kerr 1.
Goals: Chambers 6, Coulson 5, Blair 4, Walker 4, McLaughlin 2, Parslow 1, Reed 4, own goal 1, Rodman 1, C Smith 1.
Assists: J Smith 5, Walker 5, Chambers 3, Carlisle 2, Coulson 2, Kearns 3, Parslow 2, Blair 1, Challinor 1, Fyfield 1, McLaughlin 1, Reed 1, C Smith 2.
Bad boys: Chambers 4 yellow cards; C Smith 3 yellow; Kerr 1 red, 1 yellow; Fyfield, Ingham, McLaughlin all 2 yellow; Carlisle, Challinor, Coulson, Doig, Johnson, Parslow, J Smith, Walker all 1 yellow.