Simon Weaver ‘ecstatic’ with Harrogate Town’s FA Cup shock

When it comes to making FA Cup history, causing a significant upset with a dramatic stoppage-time winner might just be the ultimate way to go about it.

Simon Weaver. Picture Bruce Rollinson

And that is exactly what Harrogate Town did at Portsmouth on Saturday, Jack Diamond netting from almost the last kick of the game to seal a 2-1 success and send the Sulphurites into the third-round for the first time in their 107-year existence.

Simon Weaver has masterminded a string of momentous achievements during recent seasons – including two historic Wembley triumphs in the space of 12 months – but he insists that it “doesn’t get much bigger” than turning over the 2008 FA Cup winners in their own back yard.

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“In terms of moments it’s got to be right up there for us. We’re all ecstatic,” he said.“During my time at the club, we have loved big occasions and they don’t get much bigger than beating Portsmouth away from home in the FA Cup in the dying seconds.

“I thought we deserved the win. We passed it well, there were a lot of short passes because people were hungry to get on the ball and we were rapid on the break.

“I said to the lads, tongue-in-cheek, ‘how come we didn’t finish that off before?’. We counter-attacked at pace, caused them problems, and when we get the ball down and play and it’s slick, it just shows you what we can achieve.”

Luke Armstrong fired Harrogate in front on 44 minutes, and although Ellis Harrison levelled almost immediately, it was on-loan Sunderland winger Diamond who had the final say.

Portsmouth: Bazunu; Freeman (Brown 57), Raggett, Ogilvie; Romeo, Williams, Azeez, Hackett-Fairchild (Marquis 75); Harness, Jacobs, Harrison (Curtis 60). Unused substitutes: Bass, Ahadme, Payce, Gifford, Jewitt-White, Hughes.

Harrogate Town: Oxley; Sheron, Burrell, Hall, Page; Pattison, Falkingham, Kerry; Thomson, Armstrong, Diamond. Unused substitutes: Cracknell, Orsi, Muldoon, Power.

Referee: S Mather (England).