West Brom 3 Harrogate Town 0 - ‘We can take a lot of pride from the performance’ says Simon Weaver

Harrogate Town's Ryan Fallowfield in action during the Carabao Cup second round match at The Hawthorns. Pictures: PA.Harrogate Town's Ryan Fallowfield in action during the Carabao Cup second round match at The Hawthorns. Pictures: PA.
Harrogate Town's Ryan Fallowfield in action during the Carabao Cup second round match at The Hawthorns. Pictures: PA.
There are ways to lose a game of football by a 3-0 scoreline.

League Two newcomers Harrogate Town knew that they were always going to be up against it when they took on Premier League West Bromwich Albion in the second round of the Carabao Cup, but they certainly didn’t disgrace themselves at The Hawthorns.

Simon Weaver will take plenty of positives from his side’s performance on the night, particularly the fearless way that they attempted to get on the ball and play their own game during a first half which saw them concede twice.

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In the end, the Baggies’ class shone through, and they perhaps could have won by a greater margin. 

It wasn’t to be their night, but the most important thing for Harrogate to take away from this experience is the knowledge that if they continue to deliver such levels of performance in League Two, then they’re certain to win more than they lose over the course of the season. 

The underdogs frm Yorkshire competed well during the opening quarter of an hour and probably just about shaded possession, without managing to make much of an impression in the final third.

They did however find themselves a goal down out of nowhere with 18 minutes on the clock, Rekeem Harper whipping a 25-yarder beyond Joe Cracknell.

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The home lead was doubled after 24 minutes when Hal Robson-Kanu caressed a delightful left-footed strike past Cracknell’s despairing dive.

The Town response to conceding for a second time was fairly impressive, as Aaron Martin and Mark Beck both saw headers saved.

That was as good as it got, however, and Callum Robinson’s late tap-in from a Kyle Edwards cross extinguished any lingering hopes of an unlikely comeback.

Harrogate Boss Weaver said: “It’s a shame to lose any game but we can take a lot of pride from the performance.

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“We didn’t change policy for a Premier League team and caused some problems. There were fine finishes from them but it was testament to the character of our players we didn’t lie down.

“Overall some of the football was really pleasing on the eye. I was delighted with the mental strength shown. We’re still a work in progress.

“I didn’t see any dropped shoulders or people beating themselves up. If we get them in the FA Cup we should make a better fist of it because we’ve learned a lot.”

West Bromwich Albion: Button; Peltier, Kipre, O’Shea, Townsend; Edwards, Field, Harper, Grosicki (Phillips 55); Robson-Kanu (Sawyers 61), Austin (Robinson 73). Unused substitutes: Bond, Furlong, Ajayi, Soule.

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Harrogate Town: Cracknell; Fallowfield (Jones 72), Smith, Hall, Burrell; Thomson, Falkingham, Kerry (Kirby 79), Muldoon; Beck (Stead 61), Martin. Unused substitutes: Minter, Kiernan, Walker, Lokko.

Referee: T Bramall (Sheffield).

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James Mitchinson


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