Harrogate Town's stirring performance against Wrexham AFC left Simon Weaver 'feeling good'

Simon Weaver said he was left “feeling good” by the spirited nature of Harrogate Town’s performance against high-flying Wrexham.
Dean Cornelius slots home Harrogate Town's first goal during Tuesday night's 2-2 draw at home to Wrexham. Pictures: Matt KirkhamDean Cornelius slots home Harrogate Town's first goal during Tuesday night's 2-2 draw at home to Wrexham. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Dean Cornelius slots home Harrogate Town's first goal during Tuesday night's 2-2 draw at home to Wrexham. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Two quick-fire first-half goals saw the Sulphurites fall two behind at Wetherby Road on Tuesday evening, but strikes either side of the interval got them back on terms as they roared back into the contest.

And, having dominated a big chunk of the second period, it was the home side, rather than their second-placed visitors, who looked most likely to go on and take all three points.

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Thus, Weaver was full of positives after the full-time whistle.

Stephen Dooley in action against the Red Dragons.Stephen Dooley in action against the Red Dragons.
Stephen Dooley in action against the Red Dragons.

“The performance, it felt really good, especially the second half,” the Harrogate chief reflected.

"We were disappointed with the two goals that we conceded, but fighting back shows a lot of character and we could have ended up with a win.

"Coming back from 2-0 down, it’s hard to come back like that against a team of such quality, who are as physically powerful as they are. We had to get the ball down and play, and we did that in the second half.

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"We said at half-time, ‘you are back in it, what’s done is done’. It wasn’t about pointing fingers, we just wanted the lads to be positive because we felt that we could hurt them a bit more. We moved Ibby [Abraham Odoh] onto the left, went two up front and really went for their throats.

Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.
Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.

“There was a real energy and lots to like about that performance. I thought that we disorientated Wrexham a little bit with the pace of our passing and movement in the second half. I don’t think we played with any fear.”

Trailing to clinical finishes from Wrexham’s Andy Cannon and Elliot Lee, Town got themselves back into the game on 45 minutes when Jack Muldoon laid the ball off to Dean Cornelius on the edge of the box and the Scottish midfielder side-footed a cool finish beyond the motionless Arthur Okonkwo.

And they were back on terms barely a minute after the interval, Anthony O’Connor powering home a header from George Thomson’s inviting right-wing free-kick.

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On the goals his side scored, Weaver said: "It was a very calm finish by Deano, who excelled again, and it came at a good time and got us back in it.

"What a ball in by George Thomson for the second, yet again, and Anthony O’Connor powered it home, it was a magnificent header.

"I was up with both hands in the air, I was buzzing, absolutely buzzing and that goal really set us up for the second half.”

After Town got back on terms, it looked like there was only going to be one winner during the half-an-hour which followed, however a third goal would elude the hosts, despite them playing some excellent football for a sustained period.

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"We probably needed to score during that 25-minute spell because, and I said to Paul Thirlwell at the time, we were so relentless that I think it took a bit out of us,” Weaver continued.

"We weren’t winning the game, it was still 2-2, and I feared that one attack from them, because they've got the likes of Paul Mullin, could end with us losing the game.

"But, I shouldn’t have feared that because these lads have so much character. It’s a bit frustrating that we couldn’t manage to get that third goal while we were on top, but we can’t be too downbeat because not too many teams come back from 2-0 down.

"I thought that the least we deserved was a point because we kept on pouring forwards. We didn’t go protective and think ‘it’s 2-2 against big, mighty Wrexham’, we played with real vigour and I hope that everybody enjoyed it.”