Weaver relishing Cup showdown with Grimsby

Simon Weaver.
Simon Weaver.

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver has admitted that Saturday’s FA Cup home clash with Grimsby Town is possibly the biggest game he’s ever taken charge of.

A capacity crowd of up to 2,000 is expected at Wetherby Road for the fourth round qualifying tie (kick-off 3pm) and Weaver believes his side can really “have a go” at their National League opponents and earn another money-spinning tie in the first round proper.

Town go into the game in good heart after Saturday’s 2-1 National League North victory over Lowestoft Town thanks to goals from Brendon Daniels and Jack Emmett and Weaver is relishing the visit of the former second-tier League side.

“It is possibly the biggest game I’ve taken charge of,” said Weaver. “There is no pressure on us really, it’s like a free hit for us against them. We can certainly have a good go against them.

“I would expect us to get at them straight away, before they can settle.

“Obviously, it’s a massive challenge for us. We’ve had a look at videos of Grimsby and their players have got skill and are exceptional throughout the team, but all we can do is control the controllables and we’ll have a really good go at them.”

He added: “We can’t carry any passengers against Grimsby – they took Halifax Town to the cleaners recently – 7-0 – and are a very good side but we won’t give them too much respect.”

With Town supporters expected to pack out the ground and Grimsby also bringing a large travelling support, Weaver’s expecting a tremendous atmosphere come 3pm on Saturday.

“It’ll be a good old fashioned Cup tie,” said Weaver.

“The ground is likely to be up to capacity (around 2,000) as the game is selling well with both sets of fans. Our fans were amazing at Lowestoft last weekend and hopefully they can suck the ball into the goal at the Kop end on Saturday.”

Weaver expects his team to be at full strength. Dominic Knowles (chest infection) and Brendon Daniels (leg strain) missed midweek training but are expected to be fit for Saturday.

The match is also certain to be a memorable one for Town’s current assistant boss John McDermott, who spent a total of 20 years at Grimsby Town as a player. The former defender made more than 600 first-team appearances for the Lincolnshire side.