Simon Weaver sees Harrogate Town fans take their team closer, but not close enough

IMPROVEMENT: Simon Weaver was pleased with Harrogate Town's performance, if not the resultIMPROVEMENT: Simon Weaver was pleased with Harrogate Town's performance, if not the result
IMPROVEMENT: Simon Weaver was pleased with Harrogate Town's performance, if not the result
Simon Weaver said Harrogate Town's fans made the difference in one of their best performances for a while, but the fine margins cost them victory at home to Forest Green Rovers.

Town went into the game on the back of a week which saw them lose twice, conceding nine goals in the process.

They looked much better against Forest Green, but ultimately were unable to make it count. The visitors were, winning 1-0 through Jamille Matt's second-half goal.

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“I thought it was our best performance for quite some time,” reflected manager Weaver. “There was some great passages of play when we passed it around and I think we've just got to keep driving forward playing in the same vein because we've got ability and no little passion as well.

“I feel sorry for the players because the fine lines went for them and it was a cruel defeat for us but we can take a lot from it.

“The fans and the players have mixed together in the clubhouse for years and we felt their hurt when they weren't with us at Wembley (when Harrogate beat Notts County in August's Conference play-off final) and the new tournaments we were in, it's been a crying shame they were with us.

“It was a big emotional and I definitely think it got rid of a bit of legginess we've been suffering and gave us a real shot in the arm.”

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Whilst Harrogate played well in midfield, they did not do enough to work visiting goalkeeper Luke McGee.

“It just happens when you're in a bit of a sticky patch,” said Weaver, whose club is playing in the Football League for the first time. “You see promoted teams up and down the land, even at elite level having a bit of a bounce, then questioning themselves a little bit.

“We've had an onslaught of fixtures and it tests character.

“On Tuesday we went under a little bit for the first time in 10 years but today we bounced back and I do think the crowd played a huge part in that but I also think it shows we've got some winners in there who will eventually win again.

“When we've had dips at the level below and the level below that you find the lads you want with you, it's as simple as that. Now we're thinking, 'Go on then, back it up next week and play with more of that confidence.' Hopefully before you know it we can have a good run and climb the table.”

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Even with five substitutes available, Weaver resisted making a change until he threw on forward Mark Beck in stoppage time.

“I think the lads took ownership of the game,” he explained. “You normally change your forward players but I thought they were really struggling with Aaron Martin, Brendan Kiernan was giving them a torrid time, driving at them, and Jack Muldoon is our top goalscorer. I felt those lads deserved the 90 minutes in front of the fans and it was only in the last few minutes we thought we'd be a bit more direct and ask questions crosses-wise – although we didn't get the crosses in!”

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