Wrexham AFC 0 Harrogate Town 0: Simon Weaver 'proud' as Sulphurites hold League Two's 'galacticos'

Simon Weaver said he “couldn’t be prouder” of his Harrogate Town players after they held a Wrexham side he described as the “galacticos” of League Two to a goalless draw.
Jack Muldoon in action during Harrogate Town's goalless draw at Wrexham. Picture: Matt KirkhamJack Muldoon in action during Harrogate Town's goalless draw at Wrexham. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Jack Muldoon in action during Harrogate Town's goalless draw at Wrexham. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites travelled to North Wales to tackle the title-hopefuls without a win in six matches, and although that run extended into a seventh game, they gave a good account of themselves against opposition packed with quality.

Having matched their Hollywood-owned hosts during the first half, Town did have to dig in after the break and spent a big chunk of the second half defending their goal, but Weaver was impressed with both sides of his team’s game.

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“There was ability on show first half, but then the resilience of the group,” he said. “We stood firm against all the pressure, and they're the galacticos of this league and they couldn't get past us, they found it hard against us.

"We were prepared to, at times, stick 11 players behind the ball, stop crosses, defend crosses, get blocks in and I lost count of how many headers we won in our box.

"There's a lot of hype around Wrexham and rightly so, it’s amazing that Ryan Reynolds and his pal [Rob McElhenney] are backing the club and what they've done for the local area is absolutely superb. I'm not the jealous type, and so to come here and have a set of players that stood on for their own team obviously makes me really proud.

"Our players carried out their roles with great passion and professionalism. It is not easy in what is a cauldron for our level, but everybody kept their discipline. Everybody came out at least an eight out of ten tonight, so I couldn't be prouder.”

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Weaver changed from the 4-2-3-1 system that he has been using for a number of months now and set up with three at the back at the Racecourse Ground and was pleased with how Town fared in their new shape.

“We started with the back three for the first time this season, what a time to change it, but we just thought that although we've got a good away record, we wanted to stop their supply from out wide and we wanted to go three-versus-two against Mullin and Palmer,” he added.

"I thought that, right from the off, we looked at ease with the shape. There were always going to be difficulties to overcome and last-ditch tackles but, overall, yeah we had to change it a few times, and then we ended up 5-4-1 and just trying to be hard to beat.

“It wasn't just to stop them, to be fair, we wanted to go three-versus-two against their two centre-forwards and build up play, but obviously after half-time it was more protective mode and it was less about that.

"And I don't blame them for not playing as much football because the closer you get to the finish line, you get more apprehensive and it's about preserving that clean-sheet.”