Harrogate Town's 'magnificent' display at Swindon Town proves they can compete with anyone in League Two

Harrogate Town will take plenty of belief from Saturday's 1-1 draw at Swindon Town.

Sunday, 28th November 2021, 9:54 am
Updated Sunday, 28th November 2021, 9:56 am
Simon Weaver salutes Harrogate Town's travelling supporters following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Swindon Town. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Leading through Jack Diamond's first-half strike, the Sulphurites were eventually denied maximum points by referee Alan Young's controversial decision to award the high-flying Robins a late penalty.

But, Simon Weaver was thrilled with his players' overall performance, which he feels has proved that they can go "anywhere" in League Two and get results.

"We thoroughly deserved to come away with something," he reflected.

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Jack Diamond puts the ball through the legs of Swindon goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott to hand the Sulphurites a first-half lead.

"I'm so proud of the players, I thought it was a magnificent away performance in one of the hardest fixtures on the list, away at Swindon when they're in such fine form.

"We deserved at least a point. A penalty decision from the referee probably cost us more but I want the main talking point to be about the attitude of the players, how well we passed it at times and how well we defended when we had to.

"This is a great stadium and Swindon had massive support but if we can come here and perform like that then we can go anywhere at this level and believe we can take the points."

Harrogate had much the better of the opening period and went close to opening the scoring on three occasions before Diamond did indeed break the deadlock in the 24th minute, running onto goalkeeper Mark Oxley's long clearance and nutmegging Jojo Wollacott.

Having denied their hosts the opportunity to dominate possession in the fashion that they usually do while passing the ball well themselves, Weaver's men were good value for their half-time advantage.

And although Swindon grew into the contest after the break, Oxley remained relatively untroubled until Jayden Mitchell-Lawson fell over in the box as he looked to run away from Lewis Page, prompting Mr Young to point to the spot.

"We closed them down fast, they weren't allowed to be as comfortable as they wanted to be in front of their own fans," the Harrogate boss added.

"The opening passage of play when we were passing it around was great because that's what Swindon are doing to other teams .

"They are a very good team, a very good footballing team, very expansive - but we had a plan to nullify their threats, to bottle it up in the middle and break with pace and we could have picked them off a few more times, however it wasn't to be.

"We keep learning, we keep trying to improve so that we make sure that we can hopefully come away with the three points next time."

Saturday's result sees Town drop one place to seventh in the League Two standings.