Harrogate Town boss blasts “shot-shy” strikeforce following FA Trophy exit

Simon Weaver issued a warning to his shot-shy strikeforce after Harrogate Town bowed out of the FA Trophy.

By Ed White
Thursday, 3rd December 2015, 11:32 am
Harrogate Town's Jordan Thewlis was substituted at half time.  (1508224AM10)
Harrogate Town's Jordan Thewlis was substituted at half time. (1508224AM10)

Jordan Wright’s 10th-minute strike was the only goal on a wet afternoon at the CNG Stadium as Town produced a performance well below the level they have shown in National League North this season.

Weaver’s men were five places above Curzon Ashton heading into the cup tie but were found wanting on a number of occasions as the visitors adapted better to the wet conditions.

Wright’s goal came following a lapse of concentration in Town’s back four, which allowed the away side’s top score Matthew Warburton to race through and face Peter Crook one-on-one.

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Harrogate Town striker Dom Knowles

The Town goalkeeper got the better of the exchange as he palmed Warbuton’s shot clear, but Wright was quickest to the follow-up and bent a shot from 25 yards around the solitary figure of Matt Bloomer on the goalline.

Town improved in the second half but were unable to force a clear-cut chance on goal until injury-time, when the water-filled goalmouth held up Jack Emmett’s goalbound shot, allowing Curzon defender Chris Rowney to clear.

And it was Town’s lack of fire-power up front that annoyed Weaver, who criticised the strikeforce of Jordan Thewlis, Dominic Knowles and Paul Clayton.

Thewlis was substituted at half-time for the imposing figure of Clayton, but the former England C international was unable to improve Town’s profligacy in front of goal.

Paul Clayton has struggled for goals up front for Harrogate Town this season

“We looked shot-shy up front, it’s as simple as that,” Weaver said.

“There’s really no excuse as to why we didn’t pull the trigger at times and why things didn’t happen at times in the attacking third.

“But it’s becoming a recurring theme that people don’t want strikes, they want to pass on the responsibility to other people.

“At times we are looking one way, it’s one way traffic. We are playing good stuff and that’s down to the players being good players and being happy with the shape, which they are.

“We are carving out good chances to score and we have to be more vibrant in front of goal.”