Simon Weaver hails Harrogate Town's mental strength after dramatic win at Chesterfield FC

Simon Weaver praised the character of his Harrogate Town players after they survived an emotional roller coaster to triumph at Chesterfield on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 6:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 7:09 am
Simon Weaver celebrates in front of the Harrogate Town supporters following Tuesday's dramatic 4-3 win at Chesterfield. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Having taken an early lead, the men from Wetherby Road fought back from 2-1 down to go 3-2 up, only to then concede an 81st-minute equaliser that looked as if it would deny them victory.

Jack Muldoon had other ideas, however, popping up with a stoppage-time winner to secure a three-point haul which leaves Town just five points behind National League leaders Barrow.

And, having seen his side overcome AFC Fylde in extra-time during a similarly topsy-turvy FA Trophy quarter-final tie just three days earlier, Weaver hailed the mental strength once again evident out on the field of play.

"I'm so pleased," he said.

"We found a way to win a game that was up and down with the emotions. It's such a good feeling, I don't think any of us will sleep after that.

"When they equalised at 3-3 after playing extra-time the other day, you could have forgiven a really honest group of players if a few heads went down or they started feeling the aches and pains and cramps in the legs, but there was none of that in evidence.

"There's a strong mentality out there, the players, they're in it together and it was immense. It speaks volumes.

"The lads showed what they're about. They're at their best when they're up against it and fighting back and proving people wrong.

"Things went against us tonight, but we've won the match. It's brilliant."

One of the most significant things that Weaver felt went against Town at the Proact Stadium was the unfathomable decision to disallow a Jack Diamond strike which appeared to have put the visitors 3-2 up on 54 minutes.

The Sunderland loanee cut inside from the left flank and fired past Shwan Jalal, only for referee Samuel Barrott to cut short the Harrogate celebrations having consulted with one of his assistants and decided to award a free-kick to Chesterfield close to the halfway line.

"He [the referee] ran off to the linesman, then that linesman is saying 'no, it wasn't me who disallowed it', so I don't know why he's run off to him, and suddenly he's of a mindset that Jack Diamond may have handballed it in the process," Weaver added.

"It's getting daft isn't it. It's not the first time that Harrogate Town have suffered daft decisions this season, I've never known a season like it.

"But, it's not denying us second spot at the minute and all we can do is have a real strong mentality within the group and not let things effect us or knock us off our stride.

"The referees, they've got to be able to handle it [a big atmosphere] and not always go with the home support when there are 3,000 baying for blood and wanting decisisons."