ENGLAND boss Gareth Southgate gave his local side penalty tips to help them reach a play-off final — despite once fluffing a vital spot-kick himself.
But he passed on the benefit of his experience to help Harrogate Town prepare for their National League play-off semi-final against Boreham Wood.
His tips helped Town to a 1-0 win on Saturday and they now face Notts County in Sunday’s Wembley final.
Harrogate keeper James Belshaw said: “The stuff he told us about preparing for penalties was really good. We’d obviously been working on them in training ahead of the game and it was great to get his perspective.
“He also gave us some tips on set-pieces, and we scored the goal that won the game from a corner.”
Southgate, who lives near Harrogate, laid his penalty demons to rest in 2018 when England beat Colombia in a shootout on their way to the semi-finals.
James added: “What Gareth said to us definitely helped in terms of our preparation. He reminded us that nobody was asking us to go out and do anything we’d not done before. We just had to go out and play football, play our own game.”
Victory on Sunday will see Harrogate promoted to the Football League for the first time in their 106-year history.
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