Simon Weaver left dumbfounded but proud by Harrogate Town's night in the FA Cup spotlight

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Simon Weaver was “dumbfounded” by the problems which threatened Harrogate Town's FA Cup tie, but proud of the way his players performed once it came about.

READ MORE - Harrogate Town 1 Portsmouth 2 – Lights go out on Town’s FA Cup dream as Pompey prevail

Harrogate Town's Wetherby Road ground is cloaked in darkness before kick-off in their FA Cup first-round tie

Harrogate Town's Wetherby Road ground is cloaked in darkness before kick-off in their FA Cup first-round tie

Town were minutes away from having their glamour game at home to Portsmouth called off after a power failure delayed the start of the game by 55 minutes, and another around 15 minutes before the delayed kick-off threatened to call it off altogether.

But once the match got underway, Town rose to the occasion, taking the lead through a Mark Beck header and only beaten when Portsmouth responded with high-quality long-range goals from Bradon Haunstrup and Ronan Curtis in the first half.

The real nervous moments came before the game began, according to manager Weaver.

“I was a little bit dumbfounded by that,” he said of the power outage. “We were three minutes from it being called off when it went off again.

“The referee pulled us in and said if it doesn't come back on again, the game's off.

“I'm thinking about the credibility even though it's a National Grid problem but I couldn't get into a flap. I just wanted the game on and so did they.

“We got off to a flying start and we were causing them mayhem in their final third but the difference at the end of the day was some devastating strikes from distance.

“I think we can still learn when we reflect properly and see the video.

“Could we have engaged the player on the ball a little bit earlier because they have that quality? The higher up you go, you see that real quality to execute those strikes.”

James Belshaw tipped Lee Brown's 81st-minute shot onto his upright, but Portsmouth's 2-1 victory was not secure until the final whistle.

“At half-time I told them it was game on,” Weaver revealed. “There was nothing to fear... other than 25-yard strikes!

“The high-intensity style that has done well for us was doing well for us against League One opposition.

“I don't think you can say it's unlucky or bad luck, they executed the strikes brilliantly.

“Maybe we ought to pull the trigger a few more times ourselves. George Thomson had a great effort.

“Overall there was very little in it, so we can be proud of that.

“I thought we should have put more into the box than we did. It was their weakness, they didn't deal with the goal and the first ball.

“It was more a case of Mark Beck excelling but you do what works for you.”

Portsmouth will host Altrincham, who knocked out York City, in round two.