Harrogate Town hoping to add their name to historic list of FA Cup upsets against Portsmouth

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver hopes his side can add to the long list of famous FA Cup upsets when they welcome Portsmouth to North Yorkshire on Monday night.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 5:58 pm
Simon Weaver. PIC: Matt Kirkham.

Weaver led a scouting mission to the south coast on Tuesday evening, to watch the League One side beat Southend 4-1.

Monday’s fixture is arguably the biggest game that Harrogate have been involved in since they sank Brackley Town to earn promotion to the National League.

Weaver’s charges earned their spot in the first round proper of the FA Cup with victory over rivals FC Halifax Town in the fourth qualifying round.

Harrogate Town. PIC: Matt Kirkham.

“The players have seen what they are capable of, if they are all on it together,” said Weaver.

“We all are aware that we have to be on it because it has to take a collective effort to pull off something special.

“Everyone has to prepare right, everyone has to be professional and we have to be pragmatic in some ways because it is higher-level opponents.

“But if everything is lined up and we carry ourselves well, then there is the belief.

“There have been upsets every season in the FA Cup. So we would just love to be another one in the history of it.

“But we are full of respect for their manager and the side they have got because they have got some very good players.”

Town have been in fine form over the last six weeks, and are unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 outings.

A 4-2 defeat at Eastleigh last weekend ended Harrogate’s 10-game undefeated streak but Weaver feels all the pressure is on Portsmouth on Monday night.

“It is a one-off game against a high-profile team, who have got some great players,” he said.

“We are not expected to win, they are the outstanding favourites.

“It gives us little pressure, other than the pressure we put on ourselves.

“On a lot of levels it is a real bonus if we do go through. The team has already got us here by beating Halifax and putting us on TV.

“Hopefully we can put on a good show for the home fans, it is a big occasion.”