Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver hails his side’s mental strength

Simon Weaver praised the character of his Harrogate Town players after they survived an emotional roller coaster to triumph 4-3 at Chesterfield on Tuesday night.
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.

The victory moves second-placed Town to within five points of National League leaders Barrow ahead of tomorrow’s televised home clash with mid-table Bromley (kick-off 5.20pm).

Having taken an early lead at the Proact Stadium, the men from Wetherby Road fought back from 2-1 down to go 3-2 up, only to then concede an 81st-minute equaliser that looked as if it would deny them victory.

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Jack Muldoon had other ideas, however, popping up with a stoppage-time winner to secure another crucial victory.

And, having seen his side overcome AFC Fylde in extra-time during a similarly topsy-turvy FA Trophy quarter-final tie just three days earlier, Weaver hailed the mental strength once again evident out on the field of play.

“I’m so pleased,” he said.

“We found a way to win a game that was up and down with the emotions. It’s such a good feeling.

“When they equalised at 3-3 after playing extra-time the other day, you could have forgiven a really honest group of players if a few heads went down or they started feeling the aches and pains and cramps in the legs, but there was none of that in evidence.

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“There’s a strong mentality out there, the players, they’re in it together and it was immense. It speaks volumes.

“The lads showed what they’re about. They’re at their best when they’re up against it and fighting back and proving people wrong.

“Things went against us tonight, but we’ve won the match. It’s brilliant.”

Meanwhile, defender Will Smith believes the dramatic victory will send a big message to their promotion rivals.

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“I think it’s a massive result and it sends a statement that we’ll not be easily beaten and we will stand up to teams,” Smith said.

“Whether it’s the 93rd minute or whenever, we can still get wins. We can concede goals, but we’ll still come out on top.

“It was nerve-racking, though overall, I thought that we were the better team.

“We all did our jobs right and stuck together as a team.”

“It was absolutely mental in the dressing room after the game,” revealed Smith, who insisted that the significance of their midweek success was not lost on his team-mates.

“All the boys are buzzing.Spirits are very high.

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“We can beat anybody on our day and we’re still chasing that top spot.”

Elsewhere in the National League, FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild says the spirit in his squad will be vital in their play-off push as they face another crucial home game against Woking tomorrow.

The Shaymen are third in the league after their 1-0 win over Sutton at the Shay on Tuesday night, with a four-point cushion to those outside the play-offs, and with two games in hand.

Wild said: “They’re a really good side, one of the best I’ve seen this year, they’ve got some really good individuals. They’re quick on the break, pacy, and we’ll have to be at our best again to get over the line.

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“But it’s that time of year, there’s 11 games to go, and every game’s massively important to us now, especially at home.”

After both suffering blank weekends due to waterlogged pitches last Saturday Farsley Celtic and Guiseley will both look to reinvigorate their National League North play-off challenges with home victories tomorrow.

Ninth-placed Celtic currently sit seven points below the play-off zone but will be wary of tomorrow’s visitors Hereford who, although only sitting in 17th place, pulled off a stunning 4-1 victory at leaders York City on Tuesday night.

Guiseley sit a point behind Farsley in the league and host mid-table Leamington tomorrow. The Lions have also not seen any action for a fortnight – their last outing was 2-2 home draw against Gateshead.

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AFTER having their last six games postponed due to the weather, fourth-placed Pontefract Collieries will be looking for better luck when they host Trafford tomorrow in the BetVictor League North West Division,

Sixth-placed Tadcaster Albion could move within a point of the play-off positions with victory at Marine while the team a place below them in the table – Brighouse Town – make the tough trip to leaders Workington Town.

Ossett United who sit just two places above the relegation zone play at fifth-placed Marske United.

Pickering Town will be hoping they can ease their relegation fears when they travel to mid-table Widnes.

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In the South East Division Frickley Athletic play at lowly Lincoln United.

In the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, second-placed Liversedge host Albion Sports while fourth-placed Yorkshire Amateur entertain Grimsby Borough.

Hemsworth MW face a trip to Garforth Town tonight while mid-table Knaresborough Town play at Staveley MW.

In Division One, leaders Selby Town entertain second-placed Winterton Rangers in the big game of the day tomorrow. Glasshoughton Welfare play at Armthorpe Welfare while Nostell MW travel to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic tonight.

Second-from-bottom Harrogate Railway Athletic travel to Skegness Town.