Quality within Harrogate Town's squad highlighted by victory over Torquay United
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver felt that Saturday’s victory over Torquay United illustrated exactly how much quality he has at his disposal.
Deprived of the services of three first-team regulars, the men from Wetherby Road were cruising to three points until a Gulls goal against the run of play set up something of an uncomfortable final 20 minutes.
Yet, despite the absence of Mark Beck, Ryan Fallowfield and Warren Burrell, Town managed to bounce back from the disappointment of their defeat to struggling Sutton United in their previous outing and secure a result that lifted them up to sixth in the National League standings.
“It speaks volumes that we can dig in and get that result without three talismen,” Weaver reflected.
“We don’t have a huge squad, so you need to rely on players to turn up and play wherever they are chosen, and the lads who came in did well.
“I’m very pleased. The three lads who were unavailable are well-respected in the changing room, so you do miss them. Any team in the land would miss three really big players, but I was pleasantly surprised.
“I thought we started really well, nice and composed and on the front foot and overall I thought we deserved the three points.”
Fallowfield’s absence due to illness and Burrell’s suspension left Weaver without a recognised right-back to call upon, meaning that Alex Bradley – an attacking midfielder by trade – had to be deployed in an unfamiliar role.
And the Town chief was happy with the Lincoln City loanee’s contribution, plus that of the recalled Lloyd Kerry, and match-winner Jon Stead, who has taken the plac e of the injured Beck up front.
“To be honest, I didn’t ask Alex if he’d played right-back before because I just thought that this was the best option in my head, so we went with it.
“He’s a big, strong athlete and needs must. I thought he did well, particularly on the ball. We got the win and he scored a goal, so he’ll be delighted and I’m really pleased for him.
“I wanted a warrior in the centre of midfield and Lloyd brought that. He was great getting the first and second balls and nice and calm on it.
“Steady put his chance away with such guile, didn’t he. It was a bullet in the end and he is capable of that. He was one of the better players on the pitch and hopefully he will get on a good run of form now.”