Harrogate Town pulled off a remarkable victory to reach the FA Cup second round for the first time in their history by defeating League Two high-fliers Torquay.
Simon Weaver, manager of the Blue Square Bet North side, said: “I’ve never known anything like those celebrations. It’s taken some time at Harrogate, from getting the job in difficult circumstances but I’ve tried to tackle everything in sight to prove I wanted to be in the game and I’m a very proud man.”
Torquay had beaten Harrogate in a penalty shootout after two draws the last time they were in the first round of the competition in 2005.
This time, Harrogate started positively with Danny Forrest and Chib Chilaka testing Michael Poke and, on 20 minutes, they took the lead. A slip by Kevin Nicholson let in Dwayne Samuels and he and Tom Platt set up Chilaka, who scored via the inside of the post.
Torquay hit back and Craig McGillivray had to turn Lee Mansell’s header round the post before Danny Stevens and Aaron Downes went close with headers.
A break down the left by Rene Howe set up Billy Bodin, who shot over from close range. Harrogate countered with Forrest and Platt releasing Luke Dean, who forced a diving save from Poke.
On 57 minutes, a strike by Howe was ruled out for offside. Torquay threw on all three substitutes and Niall Thompson immediately shot over before forcing Shane Killock to head off the line.
For Harrogate, Danny Clayton and Jonny Allan replaced Forrest and Beesley, which gave them added impetus.
Adam Bolder and Allan combined to create a chance for Chilaka but his shot flashed wide and then Clayton forced Poke into a save at the foot of the post.
Mansell headed over and Brian Saah missed Nathan Craig’s corner, to leave Harrogate to accept the applause of both sets of fans.
Torquay United: Poke, Leadbitter, Nicholson (Yeoman79), Downes, Saah; Craig, Lathrope; Mansell; Bodin (Jarvis 60), Stevens (Thompson 60) Howe. Unused substitutes: Rice, Oastler, Easton, Cruise.
Harrogate Town: McGillivray, Samuels, Merris, White, Killock; Bolder, Dean, Platt, Forrest (Clayton57); Chilaka, Beesley (Allan72). Unused substitutes: Nowakowski, Bloomer, Hardy, Da Veiga, Bolland.
Referee: W Barratt (Bromsgrove).
Man of the match: Dwayne Samuels.