Harrogate Town's 'scintillating' attacking display during EFL Trophy defeat to Sheffield Wednesday thrills Simon Weaver

Furious though he was with his side's defending during Tuesday's EFL Trophy defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, Simon Weaver said he will take plenty of positives from Harrogate Town's attacking display.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 9:34 am
Harrogate Town winger Jack Diamond leaves Sheffield Wednesday defenders trailing in his wake at Hillsborough. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites chief branded his back-line an "embarrassment" in the wake that 4-0 loss, but praised his midfielders and forwards for really taking the game to the League One Owls.

Currently seventh in League Two, Town caused Wednesday all sorts of problems for an hour of the contest, opening them up on numerous occasions.

They managed 10 shots on target on the night, only for home goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith to deliver a man-of-the-match performance between the sticks.

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Aaron Martin missed two of Harrogate Town's clearest openings.

"We can take positives from the way we opened them up," Weaver said. "The front six were absolutely brilliant all night. They wanted the ball every time, they've done everything that we wanted within our shape - apart from put the ball in the back of the net.

"Not taking our chances was an issue on Tuesday, but it's only if it becomes a recurring theme that we start to worry. It was the defensive performance that cost us.

"Going forwards we looked scintillating at times. Alex Pattison and Jack Diamond were scary. They had too much for the opposition at times. It was exciting to see Harrogate Town players run past League One players at will.

"Every time they picked the ball up they were driving past lads who are top League One players. They were ripping it up, it was brilliant, so exciting and we're proud of that.

"Josh Falkingham looked a top-end League One player tonight as well. Simon Power was excellent. They've all got that in them. They are very good players who could take us to another level."

Pattison, Diamond and Warren Burrell all drew good saves from Wildsmith, though it was Town's front-two of Danilo Orsi and Aaron Martin who passed up the visitors' clearest chances.

Orsi hit a post and failed to slide the ball beyond the Owls stopper one-on-one, while Martin directed two close-range efforts straight at Wednesday's goalkeeper.

But Weaver said he couldn't be too critical of his strike duo.

"Up front they worked really hard," the Harrogate boss added.

"Yeah, they missed chances and it's a real shame for Danilo and Azza because it would have been great for their confidence if they score on Tuesday night.

"But, they will learn from that and they worked their socks off, so I'm not faulting them. They performed really honestly and they're both in contention [for Saturday's trip to Walsall].

"Aaron wins the first ball, he's physical and honest, runs the channels and Danilo is always in the right place at the right time.

"He didn't finish on this occasion, but more often that not you can see why he gets goals."