Simon Weaver laments Harrogate Town's poor finishing following back-to-back defeats

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver lamented his side’s poor finishing after witnessing back-to-back National League defeats, but insists there is no reason to panic.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 8:28 am
A frustrated Simon Weaver looks on from the dug-out at Woking. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The men from Wetherby Road went down 1-0 at Woking on Saturday in a game that they did more than enough to win, before missing a series of clear-cut scoring opportunities on their way to a 2-0 reverse at the hands of Notts County.

And while Weaver admits that a lack of a ruthless edge is proving costly, he doesn’t feel that his players are too far away from where they need to be in terms of their overall level of performance.

“In front of goal, we’re not good enough at the minute,” the Town boss said after Tuesday’s loss.

“This is what’s cost us. It cost us the other day when we absolutely annihilated Woking in terms of football and chances created, but when opportunities are presented six yards out, we’ve got to start finishing them because it’s becoming daft.

“We’re looking at two performances where, if we’re able to pass the ball into the net from six or 12 yards, we win the games. We are doing the hardest bit in football, which is creating chances. What you’ve got to do is keep polishing it and trying to get better.

“I don’t think I need to beat them [the players] too much. When I look at other games I think we are one of the better teams that I’ve seen [in the National League] and I think it will all come to fruition.

“We lost 14 games last year. You can afford to lose 14 games and still finish in the top-six, not that we want to rack up any more defeats, but it can happen, even when you’re playing well.

“It’s early days and we don’t get too down.”

Town’s defeat in midweek came after Brendan Kiernan failed to beat Notts goalkeeper Sam Slocombe from around six yards out and Joe Leesley missed a penalty - Town’s fourth consecutive failure from the spot.

Jack Muldoon was also unable to finish off a couple of good openings in the second period, but it was the opportunities that were wasted with the game still goalless that Weaver felt really hurt his team.

“Brendan missed a sitter from six yards out, and we’ve missed another sitter with the penalty,” he added.

“They’re put to bed then, aren’t they? Notts County’s support was immense, really quite inspirational, but after a good start by them we’d have quietened them down, they’d have turned against their management, again, and their players, and we’d have been writing a different story.

“These are key moments. You’ve got to finish. Kristian Dennis did for them, we didn’t when we had our chances.

“We don’t want to be just a great footballing team and just miss out because people are panicking in the opposition box.

“We’ve got players in the squad who’ve scored goals in their career. They’ve got to find that ruthless edge.”

Defeat sees Town drop to 14th in the National League standings ahead of Saturday’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge, a fixture that they lost 2-1 last season.