Notts County 3 Harrogate Town 0: Failure to finish chances costs Sulphurites

Harrogate Town's Matty Daly can't hide his disappointment after missing a chance to put his side in front against Notts County. Pictures: Jez Tighe/ProSportsImagesHarrogate Town's Matty Daly can't hide his disappointment after missing a chance to put his side in front against Notts County. Pictures: Jez Tighe/ProSportsImages
Harrogate Town's Matty Daly can't hide his disappointment after missing a chance to put his side in front against Notts County. Pictures: Jez Tighe/ProSportsImages
Simon Weaver blamed a failure to finish off their chances for Harrogate Town’s 3-0 defeat away at Notts County.

The Sulphurites were far from outplayed by their hosts, but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal, with George Thomson’s miss from the penalty spot while the game was still very much in the balance arguably the key moment of a keenly-contested affair.

Matty Daly twice drew saves out of Magpies stopper Luca Ashby-Hammond when afforded clear sights of goal before half-time, with County’s goalkeeper also doing superbly to keep out Thomson’s 56th-minute penalty, then denying Abraham Odoh almost immediately afterwards.

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Macaulay Langstaff had fired Notts ahead from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time, with late strikes by Jodi Jones and Jim O’Brien wrapping things up during the latter stages of Saturday’s match.

Levi Sutton in action against Notts County at Meadow Lane.Levi Sutton in action against Notts County at Meadow Lane.
Levi Sutton in action against Notts County at Meadow Lane.

And Harrogate’s manager does not believe that the final score paints an accurate picture.

"I do think it flatters Notts County, no disrespect to them, but I felt that we had the upper hand in terms of the chances created," Weaver said.

"I thought we were excellent in the second half. It was quite attritional first half, but we were on the front foot with our pressing intent and we stopped them getting into any real flow. We had two one-versus-one opportunities that we didn't take and we could have been in the driving seat.

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"I thought that for large parts it was one of the best away performances that we've seen from a Harrogate Town team over the last few years. It could have been an entirely different score-line

Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver watches on from his technical area.Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver watches on from his technical area.
Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver watches on from his technical area.

"When it was there to slot in we just didn't have that finishing touch today, but in terms of creating, entertaining, playing on the front foot and when you look at the expected goals of 2.76, it does tell a story, that statistic.

"I thought that tee to green, we were brilliant at times, but it's about getting the balance right between relaxing in front of the goal and being decisive. It wasn’t to be today, but you do need to score when you are on top.”

Weaver also felt that the lapse in concentration which led to County being awarded that stoppage-time penalty, and the performance of Ashby-Hammond in the home goal were particularly significant as far as the outcome of Saturday's game was concerned.

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He added: "We were guilty of a switch off moment of relaxation when they had a corner, which we prepared for yesterday, and [Dan] Crowley suddenly burst through two players and got into the box and we gave the referee a decision to make and it went against us.

"So we came in at half-time disappointed, but not by any stretch feeling that we were down and we came out with a real positive attitude in the second half and caused them a lot of problems, but it just wasn't our day in front of goal.

"You've also got to give big praise to their goalkeeper, you know, he was outstanding today, very decisive. I thought he was top-notch and denied us."

Saturday's defeat sees Harrogate drop to 13th position, where they now sit seven points shy of the League Two play-off places.

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