Jack Diamond says Harrogate Town's victory over Bradford City represents a big step in the right direction

Plenty was said in the Harrogate Town camp ahead of Saturday’s derby showdown with Bradford City about the importance of them building on their midweek point against Mansfield.

By Rhys Howell
Monday, 7th February 2022, 6:40 am
Updated Monday, 7th February 2022, 6:54 am
Harrogate Town's on-loan Sunderland winger Jack Diamond looks to escape the attentions of Bradford City right-back Oscar Threlkeld. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town's on-loan Sunderland winger Jack Diamond looks to escape the attentions of Bradford City right-back Oscar Threlkeld. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

And the Sulphurites did exactly that on a soaking wet, blustery afternoon at Wetherby Road, following up that goalless draw with the Stags with a 2-0 success over their Yorkshire rivals.

A run of just one win in eight League Two matches prior to this weekend has seen Simon Weaver’s men plummet down the table, leaving them in urgent need of a sequence of positive results if they are to have any chance of reviving their play-off ambitions.

They certainly did not have things all their own way against the Bantams, but according to two-goal winger Jack Diamond, this much-needed victory represents a big step in the right direction.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

Harrogate Town winger Jack Diamond's 62nd-minute strike deflects off Bradford City defender Oscar Threlkeld to break the deadlock at the EnviroVent Stadium.

“This result can be massive and give us a lot of confidence going forwards, especially after the draw against Mansfield in the last game,” said the on-loan Sunderland winger.

“That was a similar type of match and we’ve built on that really well today. So, as long as we can keep building, we are only going to go one way.

“Obviously it’s not always going to be win, win, win, but as long as we keep improving and keep making sure the performances are good then we can do well.

“I think the most important change has been that we’re not conceding. We’ve always seemed to be able to score goals but sometimes we’ve conceded bad goals - and that’s the whole team, not just the defence.

“So, I think as a whole, all of the team has got a bit better defensively. It’s been very, very important.

“We knew what kind of game it was going to be against Bradford, we knew that we would have to win the battle for our quality to come out in the end and that is exactly how it played out.”

Harrogate goalkeeper Mark Oxley was required to make a trio of excellent stops to keep the hosts on terms, but having soaked up everything their visitors had to throw at them, they then went down the other end and netted twice in quick succession.

The Sulphurites took the lead on 62 minutes when Alex Pattison fed Diamond on the left-hand edge of the City area and his effort across the face of goal deflected off Oscar Threlkeld and into the away net.

The 22-year-old then wrapped things up in the 71st minute after breaking from just inside the Bradford half and driving down the centre of the pitch before dispatching a composed low strike beyond Alex Bass.

“It felt great,” Diamond said of the moment he found the back of the net to break the deadlock.

“The first one was definitely a shot and I’m claiming it 100 per cent.

“We’re always dangerous on the counter-attack with the pace we have got, I just tried to drive forwards for the second one and it was an enjoyable goal because it gave us the two-goal cushion. It meant a lot.

“It was difficult with the conditions, but both teams had to deal with them and maybe we dealt with them better because I feel like we deserved the win.

“They had chances but once we got the first goal we were in control.”