'It doesn't get much bigger than beating Portsmouth' - Harrogate boss on FA Cup humbling and what makes upset even more impressive

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Simon Weaver saluted one of the greatest moments in his club’s history as Harrogate humbled Pompey in their own backyard.

And the Sulphurites boss paid tribute to his side’s success against Danny Cowley’s men being delivered with an injury-hit squad.

Harrogate reached the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in their 107 year history with a late, late winner, as Jack Diamond struck to give his team a 2-1 win with virtually the last kick of the game.

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Weaver had no doubt about the size of the achievement - nor the fact it was fully warranted.

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He told the Harrogate Advertiser: ‘In terms of moments it's got to be right up there for us. We're all ecstatic.

‘During my time at the club, we have loved big occasions and they don't get much bigger than beating Portsmouth away from home in the FA Cup in the dying seconds.

‘I thought we deserved the win. We showed great intensity off the ball. We passed it well, there were a lot of short passes because people were hungry to get on the ball and we were rapid on the break.

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Harrogate boss Simon Weaver. Photo: Barry ZeeHarrogate boss Simon Weaver. Photo: Barry Zee
Harrogate boss Simon Weaver. Photo: Barry Zee

‘I said to the lads, tongue-in-cheek, “how come we didn't finish that off before?”. We counter-attacked at pace, caused them problems, and when we get the ball down and play and it's slick, it just shows you what we can achieve.’

Weaver felt his side’s success was made all the more impressive given the injury issues they had to contend with going into the game.

Harrogate fielded every fit defender they had available and were able to name only four players on bench - with nine allowed in the FA Cup.

Weaver added ‘It's brilliant. We only had three outfield players on the bench today. We are stretched at the minute, but I think it is testament to the character of the players. They are absolutely superb. They are doing tremendous things for the club.

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‘You want lads to be able to turn up at arenas like this, and it is a new level, and expect and think that they can come away with a result.

‘We believed that we could get a result and we did it in the right manner. We showed that we can play football and there's a decent football club in North Yorkshire with Harrogate Town - and we try to keep on building it.

‘Although they had attacks, when the game gets stretched later on and people become tired, I still fancied us to have a moment, and fortunately we did.

‘Every player deserves a lot of praise after that performance, but there are certain players who have played for this club for years and they keep on getting better, so I want some of what they are eating for breakfast. And then we've got the new influx who have added a bit of dynamism as well.

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‘At the minute, we look pretty structured. We've got big games coming thick and fast but when you're getting good results like this then it is just the tonic.’

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