Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver 'buzzing' at prospect of hosting Portsmouth in FA Cup

Harrogate Town have been drawn at home to Portsmouth in the first round proper of the FA Cup.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:16 am
Ex-Harrogate Town goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, right, and his Portsmouth team-mates will be visiting Wetherby Road in the FA Cup first round proper. Picture: Getty Images

The League One outfit, who won the competition in 2008 and were playing their football in the Premier League as recently as 2010, will visit the CNG Stadium on the weekend of November 9.

"I'm buzzing," said Town boss Simon Weaver.

"It's such an exciting draw. There was no-one bigger we could be drawn against in terms of stature than Portsmouth or Sunderland, so to have got one those is brilliant.

"I clenched my fist and thumped the air when we were drawn at home, then to see Portsmouth pulled out next was brilliant. It's a game of huge magnitude, a real challenge for us and just so exciting.

"They're an ex-Premier League club who have won this competition not so long ago and we know they will travel in big numbers, so we're expecting a bumper crowd and a great occasion.

"We've not had a big draw, at home since I've been here and I'm delighted it's finally happened. It's massive for the club.

"It puts you on a big stage where you can go and showcase what you've got both on and off the pitch. The lads will be champing at the bit."

Portsmouth, currently 18th in League One, include former Town goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray in their ranks.

The Scottish stopper was a regular at Wetherby Road under Weaver between 2012 and 2014 and will likely be the man standing between his old club and £36,000 in prize money.

Town set up their date with Pompey by beating Yorkshire rivals FC Halifax Town 2-1 away from home on Saturday, progressing past the fourth qualifying round for the first time in seven years.