Leaky defensive proving an issue for Harrogate Town as they slip down League Two table

Simon Weaver fears that Harrogate Town have become a “soft touch defensively.”

The Sulphurites surrendered a two-goal interval lead at Hartlepool United on Saturday, conceding three times in the space of seven second-half minutes on their way to a 3-2 defeat.

They began the weekend second in League Two and remain the division’s most prolific side, but they have also conceded more than anyone else inside the top half of the table.

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And Saturday’s game wasn’t the first time that Harrogate’s defensive failings have cost them this term.

MANAGER: Simon Weaver. Picture: Getty Images.

“These lads, we have stayed loyal and we had a cracking start to the season, but the stats don’t lie, we concede goals,” said Weaver.

“We are a bit of a soft touch defensively. People can play through us too easily and that’s due to a lack of organisation.

“If you go through all the goals that have been scored against us. There’s not many worldies or 10-pass moves. It’s simple balls into the box and we are fragile.

“In my opinion, that last few away games, starting at Port Vale, when things have got a bit hot, we’ve had a few lads go quiet. A few went quiet on Saturday and I think it’s a true test of character in situations like this. We’ve had a lot of success and these are great lads with a lot of energy, but we need more of an edge.”

George Thomson and a Neill Byrne own goal on 35 minutes put Harrogate in control but David Ferguson, Mark Cullen and Matt Daly all struck for the hosts.

Hartlepool: Mitchell; Sterry (Ogle), Byrne, Hendrie, Ferguson; Shelton (Liddle 46), Featherstone, Holohan; Daly; Molyneux, Cullen (Grey 72). Unused substitutes: Killip, Jones, Crawford, Fondop.

Harrogate Town: Oxley; Fallowfield, Smith, Burrell, Page; Thomson, Falkingham, Kerry (Power 63), Diamond; Armstrong, Muldoon (Orsi 73). Unused substitutes: Cracknell, Martin, Sheron.

Referee: J Oldham (Derbyshire).