Danilo Orsi the star as Harrogate Town show they now boast genuine strength in depth

Simon Weaver said he was delighted for Danilo Orsi after the striker netted a hat-trick against Mansfield Town.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 8:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 8:42 pm
Harrogate Town striker Danilo Orsi celebrates. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The 25-year-old registered his first goals for the club as a much-changed Sulphurites side swept aside the challenge of their League Two rivals in Tueday’s EFL Trophy clash.

“It was a superb night for the lad. He takes the match-ball home and it’ll be a great moment in his career,” Weaver said after Tuesday’s 3-1 success.

“I’m so pleaed for Danilo, his mum was in attendance and he made his family proud tonight. It was a great game for him, but he’ll be the first to admit that Aaron Martin was also awesome alongside him, being very physical.

“Their whole attitude and approach to the game was exemplary – as was the whole collective. It was a good night, superb.”

Orsi, a summer signing from Maidenhead United of the National League, demonstrated his goal-scoring prowess with a trio of clinical finishes to extend his new side’s unbeaten start to the campaign into a fifth match.

The 25-year-old opened his Harrogate account just before the interval when Stags goalkeeper George Shelvey failed to hold Alex Pattison’s strike from the edge of the box and he pounced on the loose ball, spun and fired home.

Jordan Bowery spurned a golden chance to level matters seven minutes into the second period, smashing a penalty against the cross-bar, and Mansfield were made to pay just seconds later.

Harrogate broke countered immediately, Lloyd Kerry’s pass setting Simon Power clear down the left, from where the Irishman crossed for Orsi to take a touch and make it 2-0.

George Lapslie did get the visitors back in the contest on 66 minutes, netting with a powerful effort which Joe Cracknell found too hot too handle, though the hosts’ two-goal lead was restored within a couple of minutes.

And it was that man Orsi who did the damage once again, tapping in from almost on the goal line after strike partner Aaron Martin’s header was parried by Shelvey.

Weaver was critical of his team’s performance during Saturday’s draw with Exeter City, stating that they lacked the required intensity and didn’t win enough first and second balls.But having freshened things up by making seven changes to his starting line-up, the Sulphurites boss felt that Town were much improved in midweek.

“I’m really pleased with the performance.

“These games can often be undervalued because it’s the EFL Trophy, but we want to win every single game and get after teams.

“We were really us tonight in terms of our hunger to win the first ball, win the second ball. We were tenacious all over the park and there was a great energy, it created at a great atmosphere for what we’re about - going after them. And it was good to score three goals.”

Weaver was also encouraged by the contribution of the players he brought into his starting line-up, with the likes of Will Smith, Nathan Sheron and Martin making their first starts of the campaign.

“I think we’ve got quality in depth that we have probably never had. We’ve got competition for places which is going to give me a few headaches,” he said.

“We’ve got very good options all over the park. Everyone is pressing their fellow competitors within the squad to keep performing.

“The lads who have started games so far have performed very well – we’re unbeaten in the league – but they know there is no respite in terms of the competition.

“There is stiff competition for places this year, which is what we want.”