FA Cup showdown ‘massive’ for Town

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver has described Saturday’s FA Cup third qualifying round clash at FC United of Manchester as a “massive” game.

A believer in the “magic of the cup”, the Town boss believes that progressing in the competition will provided a huge boost for the club.

“Our main objective this season is to do well in the league, but an FA Cup run just adds that bit of magic,” he said.

“We saw it when we managed to beat Torquay, a side two leagues above us, two years ago.

“There is nothing quite like it. There is such excitement around the town, great interest in the club all of a sudden and you get more people through the turnstiles.

“We’re aiming for the same again this season, but if we are to progress any further then we have to negotiate a really tough tie at FC United.”

Harrogate have already beaten Saturday’s opponents once this season, coming from behind to triumph by a 3-1 scoreline on home turf.

But despite this, Weaver says that his players will have to work hard if they are to secure a repeat performance.

“This will be a proper cup tie in front of a packed crowd, it’s certainly not going to be easy,” he added.

“We know how good they are having played them once already. We also had them watched recently, so there is no room for complacency.

“We have beaten them already this season, so we can take some confidence from that, but we have to make sure that we perform.

“We’ve got to work our socks off if we want to win the game, but keep our cool at the same time and play the game, not the occasion.”

The financial implications of progressing in the competition are also not lost on Weaver, whose side banked £4,500 for overcoming Bridlington Town in the previous round.

With £7,500 at stake on Saturday, Weaver added: “The money is a real bonus for clubs at this level.

“We’ve paid out to build new stands and laid a 3G pitch in recent years, so the extra cash you can earn really makes a difference.”