Simon Weaver 'delighted' to see Harrogate Town reach the EFL Trophy quarter-finals and with a much-needed clean-sheet
Simon Weaver was "delighted" to see his Harrogate Town side reach the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy, but almost equally as happy with a long-overdue clean-sheet.
The Sulphurites edged ahead against Carlisle United on Tuesday evening through Luke Armstrong's early goal and managed to hold on to that advantage thanks to a defensive performance which their manager felt was their best in some time.
Having managed just one single shut-out in 16 attempts in all competitions, Weaver was understandably thrilled to finally have another to treasure, but admitted that it was "about time".
"The clean-sheet is such a rewarding feeling, we're delighted to get one," he said.
I thought that the second-half defending was as good as we have defended for some time.
"There were no daft decisions and we were more compact. Both centre-halves were terrific, the partnerships were good. As a back-four we were really solid.
"Preserving that clean-sheet gives you a platform, it allows the creative talents that we've got to go and play.
"It's about time we got one, but everybody played their part. On the couple of occasions that Mark Oxley was called into action, you could see that he is a top-drawer goalkeeper."
Tuesday's 1-0 triumph saw Town qualify for the last-eight stage of the competition for the first time in what is just their second-ever year as a Football League club.
"We're absolutely delighted to be in the last-eight, it's a real thrill," Weaver added.
"That's two wins back-to-back in this competition, which is great, especially when we haven't played for a while.
"There's always a buzz when you win any game, but to win one to get through to the quarter-finals of the Trophy when it's only our second year in the Football League, it is fantastic.
"It was a delight to get to Wembley again last year [to contest the delayed 2019/20 FA Trophy final] and we're only two games off going back if we play our cards right.
"If we can maximise what we have got here then you never know. It's a real dream of ours to go back there with our supporters - and it is in sight."