Weaver wants ruthless edge

9th March  2013'Harrogate Town v Chester.'Pictured Towns Chib Chilaka challenges for the ball with Chesters Danny Williams'Picture by Gerard Binks
9th March 2013'Harrogate Town v Chester.'Pictured Towns Chib Chilaka challenges for the ball with Chesters Danny Williams'Picture by Gerard Binks

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver has urged his squad to improve defensively after shipping six goals in their last three games.

Fifth-placed Town ended their hectic week of fixtures on Tuesday when Blue Square North strugglers Bishop’s Stortford came from behind to draw 2-2 at the CNG.

Earlier, Weaver’s side beat promotion rivals FC Halifax Town 2-1 on Thursday before they fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to table toppers FC Chester on Saturday.

This week, Town will clock up more than 600 miles of travelling as they visit Corby Town this Saturday before a trip to The Bishops on Tuesday.

The manager has asked his defenders to make better decisions when under pressure.

Weaver said: “We need to do the basics when we defend. If it has to go from A to B a bit quicker, then it should.

“We don’t need to commit suicide on our pitch.

“We want to make sure we finish teams off. But we don’t need to go blasé about it. We have to add that ruthless edge in defending.”

Town signed experienced striker Colin Larkin in time for the Bishop’s Stortford match and the Irish forward scored an “outstanding” goal on debut.

Weaver played against Larkin when the forward was at Mansfield Town and Chesterfield and the manager praised his infectious attitude.

He said: “His movement is different class. It is a different class in League Two never mind Conference North.

“His work rate is second to none and his movement creates opportunities for the team.”

Defender Alan White also grabbed a goal on his return from suspension but Weaver said his dressing room was down-hearted after conceding a two-goal lead.

He said: “It was a frustrated changing room after. Bishop’s Stortford didn’t create anything second half but they scored two goals, one from a back pass.

“But we were very good going forward and I can’t complain about the team’s bravery.”

The re-arranged fixture at FC Halifax Town was played in front of 1133 fans at The Shay as a Town counter-attacked their way to victory.

Goals from Paul Bolland and Matt Bloomer put Town in the ascendancy early on. The Shaymen’s Dan Gardner scored an immediate reply but Weaver’s side held on for a precious win.

Weaver said: “They threw everything including the kitchen sink at us. We rode our luck but it was a magnificent victory for the club in a great derby.”

Weaver asked his side to play freely against runaway leaders FC Chester on Saturday and thought they competed well .

Dominic Knowles scored a consolation goal after Chester had put the game to bed.

“I was proud of the commitment,” the boss said. “We missed five or six players who have played an important part recently.

“We did well but we were guilty at a couple of set pieces. The players gave it their all”

Danny Forrest, Michael Woods and Tom Platt could be back in contention at the weekend. But Paul Beesley is out with a knee ligament problem.

Town beat Corby 6-1 at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium last month but Weaver said the score flattered his side.

“They probably should have been one or two up,” he said. “They have got a big unit and it won’t be an easy game. We need to make sure we get the ball down and play.”

Weaver is relishing the reverse against Bishop’s Stortford as a chance to showcase his side’s talent.

He added: “Apparently the pitch is decent there. we are looking forward to getting on it.”