Harrogate Town's win at Mansfield Town was for their supporters, says Simon Weaver

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver said that Saturday’s victory over Mansfield was for the club’s supporters
Harrogate Town were 2-1 winners at Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon. Pictures: Brody PattisonHarrogate Town were 2-1 winners at Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon. Pictures: Brody Pattison
Harrogate Town were 2-1 winners at Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon. Pictures: Brody Pattison

Having secured their Football League status at Newport County in midweek, there wasn’t too much riding on their fixture at Field Mill, while the Stags were in desperate need of three points to keep their play-off push on track.

But it was the Sulphurites who came out on top, triumphing 2-1 courtesy of Alfie Kilgour’s own goal and a classy Matty Daly strike.

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And Weaver insisted that it was important that his players demonstrated to the Town fans how much their continued backing during what has been a season of struggle has meant.

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

“Credit to the players, because there was everything at stake for Mansfield in terms of promotion, whilst the pressure was off us, we wanted to show the fans how much it means for us to keep winning - and it was a great win,” the Harrogate chief said.

"Mansfield are a strong team and the first 15 minutes, you expect them to come at us because they needed to win. They had their crowd right behind them, but we also had a good away following here who we didn't want to let down.

"It was another brilliant performance off the pitch, they rose to it. The singing was great throughout and it doesn't half drive us on and inspire us.

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"Some people might say, the handbrake was off today, we had nothing to lose, but those players showed how much they cared with the blocks and the headers and the immense physical effort they put in to make sure we won the game.

"We owed it to the fans, who have stayed true to us throughout the sticky spells this season and the disappointments, because it's great when people do and then see the efforts come to fruition."

Town broke the deadlock with 27 minutes on the clock, Sam Folarin cutting the ball out in the middle of the pitch and driving forward before slipping it left to substitute Matty Daly.

His return pass would have left the former Middlesbrough winger one-on-one with Christy Pym had he been able to control it, but, fortunately for Harrogate, the sliding Alfie Kilgour diverted the ball into his own net as he attempted to intercept.

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They then doubled their advantage six minutes before half-time, Daly curling a lovely finish across Pym and into the bottom corner from the left-hand side of the box having been played through on goal by Kazeem Olaigbe.

The second half was a completely different affair, with the Stags dominating both the ball and territory and putting their visitors under some serious pressure, though Will Swan’s 67th-minute strike was ultimately all they had to show for their efforts.

“First half, they came at us early on and we had to get through that sustained spell of pressure, then there was a bit of a lull and we tried to look to benefit from any sloppiness on their part," Weaver added.

"With the set-up, the energy of the front-four we looked to be able to pounce on any mistakes and that is where the first goal came from.

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"This defence is able to soak up a bit of pressure now, and then we can spring into attack. It was an incisive bit of play for the second goal, a great bit of skill from Kazeem that released Matty Daly – and what a finish, I felt so confident that he was going to score there.

"There was a lot of pressure in the second half. With what was at stake for them, we expected them to throw everything at us. But it was about staying strong and we did.”

Saturday’s result saw Weaver and his men complete their first league double of the campaign and means they have now won six and drawn one of their seven Football League meetings with the Stags.

It also lifts them up one place to 19th in the table with one fixture left to play this term.