'Desire' carried us to National League play-off semi-final victory, says Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver

Josh Falkingham enjoys Harrogate Town's win over Boreham Wood at the CNG Stadium. Pictures: Matt KirkhamJosh Falkingham enjoys Harrogate Town's win over Boreham Wood at the CNG Stadium. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Josh Falkingham enjoys Harrogate Town's win over Boreham Wood at the CNG Stadium. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver said sheer desire played a huge part in his side's National League play-off semi-final victory over Boreham Wood.

Jack Muldoon struck on 64 minutes to settle an absorbing encounter at the CNG Stadium and book the North Yorkshire club's place at Wembley next weekend.

Saturday's success means that Town are now just one more win away from securing a historic promotion to the Football League for 2020/21.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And Weaver, whose team finished the regular season second in the table, said that his players' determination to finish the job and earn that spot in League Two shone through against the Wood.

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.

"Honestly, it's about the players' drive. They're dreaming of it [promotion] and they just wouldn't be denied today," the Harrogate boss said after Saturday's 1-0 victory.

"I felt confident going into the game and the desire shone out of all the individuals. In the end, the overall desire got us through.

"It makes a really good team because what we have is built on that atmosphere and team spirit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"When you get that it makes for a special feeling in the changing room and a bundle of energy. They're a joy to work with."

Despite the fact that they hadn't played a competitive fixture in more than four months prior to Saturday's game, Town made a blisteringly fast start to proceedings and only a succession of fine saves from Wood goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore kept the visitors in the match.

Harrogate could have been out of sight by half-time, but instead went into the interval with the contest still very much in the balance, something that Weaver admitted left him "concerned".

And, although they didn't quite reach the tempo that they had set early on, the home team still had enough in their locker to go on and win the game in the second period, helped by the timing of Muldoon's clever close-range finish.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I was concerned [at half-time], but only by that one thing, that lack of finishing touch," Weaver added.

"My worry was whether the lads would keep up being relentless if they didn't get the goal and then get edgy, because it's human nature isn't it, if you don't profit from being on top so much.

"But, they didn't. Boreham Wood were bound to have a 10-minute spell, but I feel like we are just maturing. If you can break play up and then pass it as well as we do, you're gonna cause anyone problems.

"From being dominant, the match was more even at the start of the second half. They were getting higher up the pitch, but the timing of our goal makes it for us and turns the game again.

"It [the goal] gave us belief and even though it was only a slim margin, we weren't too flustered at 1-0 up."