Harrogate Town v Concord Rangers – Absence of fans makes Sulphurites’ desire to win even stronger

Simon Weaver insists that the absence of Harrogate Town’s fans will only provide his players with an extra incentive to go and win today’s FA Trophy final.

SAM AGAIN PLEASE: Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The Sulphurites tackle Concord Rangers at Wembley and, just as was the case when they won the National League play-off final under the famous arch back in August, the match will take place behind closed doors owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

Not that Town will require any additional motivation when they run out at the home of football, but Weaver says the injustice the club feels regarding its supporters being denied a Wembley trip for the second time in nine months will drive his team on.

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“It is such a shame for the fans. – we desperately wanted them with us, particularly after they missed out last time,” said Weaver.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME? Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver celebrates after his team' victory in the National League Play Off Final against Notts County at Wembley in August. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.

“To have a second opportunity to go to Wembley with their team taken away is just cruel, so we have to make sure we do the business for them.

“Make no mistake. We want to win this game. We are determined to win the FA Trophy, it is a massive occasion and another historic moment for the club. We really want it, but I think it will mean that little bit more to be able to give the supporters that success given the circumstances.

“Just as was the case before our play-off final against Notts County, we’ve drilled the message into the players and we are desperate to be able to come back up the A1 to Harrogate next week flying the flag for our club.”

Town know what it takes to succeed on the Wembley turf having beaten Notts County 3-1 there back in August, and Weaver says that the prospect of repeating such an experience is mouth-watering.

“We’re all so excited and looking forward to it. It is a special feeling, that’s for sure,” he added.

“I feel like a kid at Christmas. The Wembley experience is just breath-taking.

“I never made it during my own playing career and I feel so lucky to have a group of players who have got me there twice now.”

Essex-based Concord play their football in National League South, meaning that they will arrive at Wembley having gone almost three months without a competitive fixture because of the suspension then abandonment of the 2020-21 non-league season below the fifth tier.

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