The Sulphurites saw their seven-match unbeaten start to 2021/22 ended by eye-catching strikes in each half from David Worrall and James Wilson, either side of a red card for on-loan Sunderland winger Jack Diamond.
But, rather than criticising his player for needlessly picking up a second booking in first-half stoppage-time, or referee Andrew Kitchen’s decision to issue what looked a harsh caution, the Harrogate chief said that he was guilty of getting a couple of things wrong when it came to his team-talk, and also replacing midfielder Alex Pattison after he suffered a head injury.
“I blame myself,” Weaver said.
“Normally I reiterate the fact that we’ve got to keep emotional control and keep 11 men on the pitch, but I didn’t today and we have gone down to 10.
“Also, possibly the first substitution at a time when we were losing the battle, perhaps Lloyd Kerry should have been the substitution I made
“I probably made the wrong call. I just thought that against a back-three, get Simon [Power] out there on the right, because when he is positive, he is an incredible asset.
“But, the most important thing was to get ourselves in the match and be more competitive – and he does that, does Lloyd Kerry. That was my wrong call, so there’s things that we are all learning from today.”
Four victories and two draws from their opening six League Two matches meant that Harrogate headed into the weekend second in the table with a game in hand on leaders Forest Green Rovers.
And although unhappy to have witnessed a first loss of the campaign and conceded some ground at the top of the table, Weaver remained philosophical.
He added: “It’s a disappointing day, but you are going to get that. This is our first defeat in seven.
“There was a running theme throughout the game that it just wasn’t quite our day.
“I’ve said to the players that they are all class acts and we’ll dust ourselves down and look forward to the Crawley game on Tuesday.”
Port Vale: Covolan; Cass, Smith, Jones; Worrall (Martin 90), Garrity (Taylor 71), Pett, Conlon, Gibbons (Benning 57); Wilson (Lloyd 68), Proctor. Unused substitutes: Stone, Amoo, Politic.
Harrogate Town: Oxley; Burrell, McArdle, Hall, Page (Fallowfield 36); Thomson, Pattison (Power 10, Kerry 46), Falkingham, Diamond; Armstrong (Martin 69), Muldoon. Unused substitutes: Cracknell, Orsi.
Referee: A Kitchen (Durham).