Harrogate juices will flow for action replay

Seven years on from their last visit to the FA Cup first round proper, it is ironic that Harrogate Town face the very same opponents today.

In 2005, their hopes of progression were cruelly dashed when the part-timers lost out in a penalty shoot-out after two draws against Torquay United.

As they head to the south coast to face the League Two club once more, Harrogate manager Simon Weaver says this current squad are confident of righting that wrong.

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It will undoubtedly be a difficult task overcoming a side who are in rich form and boasting plenty of experience.

But Weaver insists there is no pressure on the BlueSquare Bet North outfit.

He said: “The boys are upbeat about getting through to the first round proper.

“If we go down there and get a draw like they did the last time we went, then fantastic.

“I know who the bookies will be backing but, at the same time, we shouldn’t get starry-eyed thinking about a replay or the second round.”

Town advanced following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Hyde FC on Wednesday night.

That game was only decided by Dan Clayton’s late winner in extra-time and, so, that added 30 minutes of toil could certainly come back to haunt them as they quickly line up once more for the next round.

Weaver admitted: “They were maybe a little jaded, playing 120 minutes against Hyde then going to work on Thursday.

“But when the juices get flowing on Saturday, they will be fine.

“We are up against a full-time team but we have some fit young lads underpinning it all from the middle of the park.

“The fitness work we did in the summer seems to be paying off.”

Torquay are particularly strong on their own patch, having not lost in nine games there since losing the opening game of the season – a 4-0 reverse against Leicester City in the Capital One Cup.

They are sitting in the play-off spots in League Two but Harrogate themselves are in decent shape.

The North Yorkshire club have not lost since going down 2-0 at rivals Guiseley in mid-September, a seven-game unbeaten sequence which bodes well for this afternoon’s tie.