Stevenage FC v Harrogate Town: Ability to win tight games a sign of Sulphurites' progress

Simon Weaver doesn’t mind if Harrogate Town keep edging games 1-0, but admits that his players scoring more goals would save him some anxiety on the sidelines.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 9:58 am
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites head to Stevenage this afternoon just four points off a play-off spot having won six of their last eight League Two outings.

And, their previous four victories have all come courtesy of them scoring the only goal in each game.

Asked if he was concerned that his team are not killing opponents off and giving themselves some breathing space, he replied: “I’m not bothered at all.

Centre-half Connor Hall will miss Saturday's trip to Stevenage through injury.

“I’m just delighted when the final whistle sounds, obviously it would be good for the heart and general health if it was by more of a cushion than a slender margin like 1-0, but I think hopefully it is a sign of a team developing a really good understanding of what it takes to win tight games.

“Especially going towards the latter part of the game you see some teams – and we’ve been guilty of it in the past – having jitters, but at the minute there has been a strong mentality, which is great.Hopefully, it drives us forward and we gain more points as a result of that.

"Saturday is two teams coming into it with a bit of form and results behind them. It's going to be a tight game, but we're quite used to that at the moment."

The fact that they have kept four clean-sheets in their last five matches has obviously played a huge part in Harrogate's rise up the table.

Centre-half Connor Hall, one of the key components of their back-line, was absent from Tuesdays win at Barrow with a hamstring strain and will miss out again against Stevenage.

But Weaver feels that his side are better equipped to cope with the absence of their most important players than they have been at any point under his stewardship.

“Connor Hall is coming on very well but it wouldn’t be right to put him in on Saturday. We are hoping for next week," the Town chief added.

“Our defence has been a big part of our recent tun. Connor missed the other night so Warren [Burrell] came into the team and was superb on the evening.

“The quality of depth in the squad is a lot better than probably at any time since I arrived at the club.

“We’ve been looking behind us on the bench and knowing that we’ve got good players to choose from each game at the moment.

“With Warren coming in the other night the pressure was on him but he delivered. I thought he was magnificent with Will [Smith] and we’ve also got Jake Lawlor champing at the bit.”