Portsmouth FC 1 Harrogate Town 2: Jack Diamond's late strike seals FA Cup upset

Jack Diamond struck a stoppage-time winner as League Two Harrogate Town shocked League One Portsmouth in the second round of the FA Cup.

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 5:13 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th December 2021, 8:34 pm
Jack Diamond in action during Harrogate Town's FA Cup second round win at Portsmouth. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Twenty-one rungs of the Football League ladder separate the sides, though Simon Weaver's men were good value for their victory over the 2008 winners of the competition.

Luke Armstrong' s 10th goal of the season handed the Sulphurites the lead shortly before half-time, and although they were pegged back almost immediately, they went on to finish the game strongly.

And, having spurned a couple of decent opportunities to move back in front, they eventually did so with just seconds remaining when Diamond stunned Fratton Park.

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Town's Mark Oxley was the first of the two goalkeepers called into action, getting down to save from Marcus Harness on 10 minutes before Connor Hall dealt with the loose ball.

Portsmouth threatened again in the 20th minute, Mahon Romeo pulling a half-volley past the far post after Harness crossed from the left.

Miguel Azeez's first-time effort from a corner then skimmed the top of the Harrogate cross-bar on its way over the top as the hosts continued to look the more likely.

It was however Town who would break the deadlock just before the interval when Lloyd Kerry's interception helped the ball into the path of Luke Armstrong.

And the former Middlesbrough forward demonstrated why he is the Sulphurites' leading marksman, opening up his body before bending an accomplished finish into the bottom corner of the home net.

That lead was however to lead just over a minute, Pompey levelling matters in first-half stoppage-time through Ellis Harrison, who took advantage of a kind deflection before slotting calmly beyond Oxley.

The opening half an hour of the second period was a less eventful affair, Portsmouth struggling to make any real inroads as Weaver's men started to ask a few questions at the opposite end of the field.

They came within inches of reclaiming the lead on 76 minutes, Armstrong diverting George Thomson's effort goalwards, only for the ball to fly narrowly the wrong side of the upright.

Town went close again after 89 minutes, Alex Pattison off target with a shot after Armstrong's initial attempt broke to him.

An incisive counter-attack then saw Pattison find Diamond, who cut inside but failed to beat Gavin Bazunu.

The on-loan Sunderland winger would however make no mistake deep into stoppage-time, stretching to stab home Pattison's low cross from the left to seal a sensational victory and send the visitors into the third round of the competition for the first time ever.