Weaver's praise for Town fans after Southport success
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver was full of praise for the club's fans following Saturday's 2-0 home win over Southport.
A crowd of 1,386 turned out at the CNG Stadium as goals from Mark Beck and George Thomson ensured that the hosts kept pace with National League North leaders Salford City.
“It was a superb effort from the supporters. They sang from start to finish and are a driving force,” Weaver said.
“When we went out to warm up, we thought it’s a big crowd and a big-game atmosphere again and the lads are relishing it and really enjoying the home support.”
Already in good voice, the Town fans had even more to shout about with just four minutes of Saturday’s contest gone.
Ryan Fallowfield got forward from right-back and crossed for Beck to nip in at the near post and force home the game’s opening goal from close range.
Shortly after the half-hour-mark, Fallowfield made a telling contribution at the other end of the field to keep his team in the lead.
Goalkeeper James Belshaw’s punch fell to Southport attacker Dion Charles who managed to round the Harrogate stopper and shoot, only for Fallowfield to block on the line.
The last action of the half saw Belshaw make a stunning one-handed save diving low to his left to keep out Jason Gilchrist’s back-post header.
Southport looked the better side during the opening exchanges of the second period and went close again through Elliot Osborne who got on the end of a well-worked passing move, but fired over.
Just a minute after spurning that chance, Thomson made the visitors pay, doubling Town’s advantage by powering Fallowfield’s pull back high into the net.
Thomson almost grabbed his second of the day in the 64th minute, but his left-footed strike from range was beaten away by Mark Halstead with Dom Knowles heading the resulting corner wide.
Josh Falkingham then released Jack Emmett in behind the Southport defence and the latter sent a cross in towards Beck, but the big striker couldn’t get over the ball enough to guide his header underneath the cross-bar.
Osborne tried to fire his side back into the contest with a fierce shot in the 84th minute, however the impressive Belshaw was able to tip over the top and Town managed to see the game out in the April sunshine.
“I thought this was a really good, professional performance and we can be proud of that,” Weaver addded.
“We had to ride through a couple of sticky bits where it was trying but people were switched on to their jobs and saw the game off pretty well.
“They’ve got some good players who can handle the ball and we knew that we’d have to stay strong at times, but having said that, I thought we had the better of the play, used the ball quickly and scored two good goals.”
The victory was Town’s third in succession, but elsewhere title rivals Salford also won to maintain their three-point advantage at the summit.
Weaver’s men now have just three fixtures remaining to try and catch the Ammies, the next of which takes place on Tuesday night away at Boston United, 7.45pm kick-off.