Warren Burrell and Josh March shine on their return to Harrogate Town's starting line-up for Newport County success
The experienced Burrell was a last-minute inclusion in Town’s side for Saturday’s game, replacing Rod McDonald at the heart of their back-line after the former Crewe defender pulled up during the pre-match warm-up.
And despite having not started a game since Harrogate were thrashed 8-0 in the League Cup by Blackburn Rovers in late August, the 33-year-old utility man slotted in seamlessly at centre-half alongside Anthony O’Connor.
"Rod has carried a hefty knock the last couple of games, there’s been a build up of swelling around his ankle,” Weaver explained. “He’s kept off it this week and did the warm-up and thought he’d be okay but said ‘nah, it’s just not right’.
"So we had to inform the referee and the opposition that we were making that last-minute change, but I thought that Warren Burrell was immense in his absence.
"It’s not great timing for any team, a player having to drop out 50 minutes before the game, but when you’ve got Warren Burrell in the ranks you know that you're gonna be okay.
"So there was certainly no panic, we had complete faith in Warren to come in and perform just as he did.”
At the other end of the pitch, March was handed his first start since rejoining Town on a permanent deal at the very end of the summer transfer window.
Having recovered from a minor knee issue which kept him sidelined for the first three weeks of second spell at Wetherby Road, the 26-year-old featured as a second-half substitute in each of Harrogate’s last two matches.
Saturday saw him begin the game up top and provide a 52nd-minute assist for the Sulphurites’ second goal, meeting Thomson’s left-wing corner at the near post and helping it into the path of O’Connor, who did the rest.
"I thought that his movement and chemistry with the other front players was fantastic to say that was his first full game since returning to the club,” Weaver added.
"He was a bundle of energy, he bought the odd foul cleverly, and his movement off the ball is second to none.
"It's natural that he tired towards the end as he’s not had much football, but his presence excites us.
"Marchy is back, it’s brilliant news for the club, I thought he was excellent.”
Saturday’s result lifts Town up to 15th place in the League Two standings.