Harrogate Town's Dan Jones praised for 'excellent' display against Leyton Orient despite costly error

Simon Weaver praised left-back Dan Jones for his performance during Harrogate Town's 2-2 draw with Leyton Orient.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 10:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 10:22 am
Harrogate Town defender Dan Jones prepares to launch a long throw-in. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The on-loan Salford City defender delivered an all-action display at Wetherby Road on Tuesday evening and nodded home his first goal for the club to level the scores at 1-1 after 58 minutes.

But, soon afterwards, he gifted the O's their second of the night when he attempted to head the ball back to goalkeeper James Belshaw, allowing the predatory Danny Johnson to nip in and poke home.

That error follows on from another costly mistake just three days earlier at Bolton Wanderers where Jones lost possession to Lloyd Isgrove just outside his own box and could only watch on as the Trotters attacker picked out the bottom corner.

Dan Jones beats Leyton Orient's Connor Wilkinson in the air.

Given the number of individual gaffes or lapses in concentration that have led to opponents scoring against his side in recent weeks, the last thing Weaver will have wanted was for one of his defenders to take any kind of a risk so close to their own goal.

Yet, while Jones' poor decision ultimately meant that Town ended up with just a point from a match which they certainly played well enough to win, the Sulphurites' boss was more interested in highlighting the positive aspects of the 26-year-old's performance rather than focusing on the one negative.

"It was a shank across the box [by George Thomson] and then a short header'" Weaver said.

"We know Danny Johnson is very good at thinking 'what if?'. He pounces on little mistakes. Dan Jones knows. He knows he should have swung his right foot at it and put it out of the ground, that's just a fact.

"But honestly, I think Dan put in an otherwise superb performance. And, if he continues to show that intensity then moments like that mistake will be few and far between.

"He was excellent, a physical presence, he went forward with athleticism and he's got so much at his disposal.

"I think he relished the opportunity to show how good he is in the air and the pressure of being up against Wilkinson. He's a big guy but I'm not sure he had the appetite to go toe-to-toe with Dan. He hadn't had a kick from Dan Jones until he scored the first goal."