Harrogate Town 2 Bradford City 0: Simon Weaver thrilled by one of Sulphurites' 'biggest ever victories'

An elated Simon Weaver said that Harrogate Town's derby win over Bradford City ranks as one the "biggest ever victories" of his 12-and-a-half years managing the club.

Simon Weaver celebrates Harrogate Town's third consecutive League Two win over Bradford City. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Simon Weaver celebrates Harrogate Town's third consecutive League Two win over Bradford City. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Jack Diamond's second-half brace fired the Sulphurites to a third triumph over their Yorkshire rivals in as many matches and saw them leapfrog their visitors in the League Two standings.

And although just three places separated the sides before kick-off, the Harrogate boss insisted that for a team that has spent all but the last 17 months of its 107-year existence playing non-league football to topple a club of City's history and stature represents quite an achievement.

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"I said before the game that this could be one of our biggest ever victories and we've managed to do it," Weaver reflected.

Jack Diamond's 62nd-minute strike deflects off Oscar Threlkeld to break the deadlock at the EnviroVent Stadium.

"It's right up there with our best victories, certainly during my time at the club. I thought the players were superb.

"We're all buzzing in the changing room because Bradford City are obviously a big club with a big fan-base and a massive ground, but we've beaten them 2-0 and deservedly so.

"It was treacherous out there, but credit to the players. I was worried that it wouldn't be a spectacle at all, but the biggest worry was that we wanted the win and it's come through massive effort and also no little talent."

Bradford had the better of the opening half of Saturday's contest, Jamie Walker and Andy Cook forcing fine saves out of Mark Oxley before Walker drilled another effort narrowly past the post.

The second period began with the Bantams again looking the more likely and Oxley had to make an even better reaction stop to keep out Cook's downwards header from a Liam Ridehalgh centre.

But, it was Town who eventually made the breakthrough on 62 minutes when Alex Pattison fed Diamond on the left-hand edge of the City area and his effort across the face of goal deflected off Oscar Threlkeld and into the away net.

Harrogate's on-loan Sunderland winger then wrapped things up in the 71st minute after breaking from just inside the Bradford half and driving down the centre of the pitch before dispatching a composed low strike beyond Alex Bass.

And Weaver picked out the driving force of his midfielders as being the key to the home side coming out on top on the day.

"They had their moments, but we had ours too," he added.

"I know that their manager said before the game that 'they'll turn it into a fight will Harrogate, that's what they do' and we were fine with that because it's a derby and you have to earn the right and fight all the way for everything.

"We deserved the win, but not just because of that, because we ran through their midfield today.

"They deserve the credit for the football they played too, but really I'm only interested in the yellow and black element and I was just delighted with the team."

Saturday's success lifts Harrogate three places and to 11th position in the League Two standings, while the Bantams slip down to 14th despite having played two games more.