Harrogate Town: ‘We owed it to the supporters’ - Weaver

Boss Simon Weaver hopes his side’s goal spree will encourage the Harrogate Town faithful to flock into the new stand at the CNG Stadium.

Town went goal crazy on Saturday when James Walshaw’s hat-trick and Craig Nelthorpe’s two thunderbolts hammered a woeful Brackley Town side 5-0.

Supporters will have their first chance to test out the new 800-capacity Hospital End stand when it officially opens this weekend.

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However, Town’s attendances have dropped this season to an average of 442 – with their lowest gate just 291 against Gainsborough Trinity.

High flying Stockport County are the visitors on Saturday in a repeat of the FA Cup second qualifying round held earlier this month, which County won 2-1.

On that day, 604 supporters watched Town exit the prestigious competition, as goals from Kristian Dennis and Ritchie Baker put them to the sword.

A below average crowd of 428 witnessed Saturday’s thrilling victory over Brackley, and Weaver believes the win will act as a turning point for his side.

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Weaver admitted his side were “running out of excuses” before Saturday’s vital three points and said his team’s performance had been long overdue.

He said: “We owed that to the supporters. There was a very good attendance on Saturday and they all go behind the team. We know one swallow doesn’t make a summer. We have to build on it.

“The new stand will be great but the aim has to be to fill it.

“There’s no greater motivation to go on a good run because we know the Harrogate crowd will come when we do.

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“We have to give them an incentive and promise that we all turn up, and that we score goals.

“There’s nothing like scoring goals to entertain the crowd.”

Dave McGurk limped off at 4-0 against Brackley, but he should be fit for Weaver to name an unchanged starting line-up when Stockport come calling.

“If every body is fit, we will be having the same line up,” added Weaver. “There is no need to hid the fact we were happy with it.”

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Weaver has trimmed down his squad with one-month triallist Callum Hassan exiting permanently and Luke Dean and Leigh Franks heading for minutes on loan.

Franks has teamed up with former Town man Liam Hardy at Buxton while Dean impressed in Harrogate Railway’s midfield twice this week.

Weaver is also casting his eye over former Leeds United forward Seb Carole, who has been playing at Knaresborough Town. The Wetherby resident represented Monaco in the Champions League as a youngster before moving to West Ham United and then Brighton and Hove Albion. Carole has spent two weeks training with Town, and could be offered a deal.