Barrow AFC 0 Harrogate Town 0: Simon Weaver 'happy' as Sulphurites grind out another point on the road

His Harrogate Town side may well be eight games without a victory, but Simon Weaver was more than pleased after seeing them grind out a second goalless draw in the space of five days.
James Belshaw's penalty save helped Harrogate Town take a point from their trip to Barrow. Pictures: Matt KirkhamJames Belshaw's penalty save helped Harrogate Town take a point from their trip to Barrow. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
James Belshaw's penalty save helped Harrogate Town take a point from their trip to Barrow. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites followed up their midweek stalemate at title-chasing Wrexham with another point on the road, this time against play-off hopefuls Barrow.

Weaver’s men once again spent large periods of the game demonstrating their defensive resolve, and were grateful to goalkeeper James Belshaw for an excellent first-half save from Dean Campbell’s spot-kick.

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But, the Harrogate chief believes that his players were good value for a share of the spoils and insisted that he leaves Cumbria “satisfied” with their performance.

Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.
Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.

"I am definitely happy,” he said. "The conditions were difficult, the wind was blowing, again, here at Barrow – and they’ve got a strong, forceful, top-end team this season, so we have got to take the positives from another clean-sheet and a point.

"It was a good, gritty performance, another point on the board and I feel satisfied. It probably wasn’t a great spectacle, but it is about getting results.

"I thought that we started off like a train. We got in behind their back-line, we were just lacking a bit of composure around their box. It looked like we were opening them up, and in away games like this you when you are on top you have got to try and come out of it with a goal or two.

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"Defensively, we have been rock-solid the last two games against hard opposition. We have conceded once in four against some top teams and today we stood up strong again in trying conditions.”

Town were far from their fluent best with the ball, but a tricky playing surface meant that it was difficult for both sides to really play, and Weaver went on to stress that this was one occasion when he felt Town had no option but to adopt a pragmatic approach.

“We really try not to play ‘lump-it football’ but we played some fantastic stuff at Mansfield on a difficult pitch and lost 9-2 and I don’t want to go back there ever again,” he added.

"We have learned lessons and it's about finding a way to get a result. When you’re actually a player or in the game and you walk across this pitch, you realise that it is actually a far cry from Wembley.

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"These were difficult circumstances and it’s not conducive to playing through the thirds. We tried – and failed at times – but this is League Two and you do what you can to get a point.

"I think the pitch probably hindered both teams, I think both teams are probably better than the spectacle we saw today. It’s really not easy with the wind and the pitch.

"It’s nowhere near the same level of pitch as ours, which should help you pass it, but it is about finding a way.”

Belshaw’s 26th-minute penalty save from Campbell following Warren Burrell’s foul on Robbie Gotts was undoubtedly the game’s pivotal moment, though Weaver had no complaints about the decision to award Barrow a spot-kick.

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"I think that you can see from the reaction of the players,” he continued. “They are honest lads and they didn’t really appeal when they are closer to the incident.

"But, he is a big moment player for us, is Belly, and it was a good save. I was pleased, obviously.”

Saturday’s result elevates Town one place to 13th in the League Two standings, where they now sit six points shy of the play-offs.