'Two devastating strikes were the difference' - Simon Weaver assesses Portsmouth victory over Harrogate
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver praised his players and admitted: two moments of Portsmouth quality proved the difference.
The Blues ended their non-league hosts’ FA Cup hopes with a 2-1 win at Wetherby Road last night.
Town took the lead through Mark Beck’s seventh-minute header – after the game was delayed for almost an hour because of a power failure in the area.
However, Brandon Haunstrup’s electrifying run and finish got Kenny Jackett’s side back on level terms 10 minutes later, before Ronan Curtis produced another spectacular moment of individual quality to hand the visitors the advantage at half-time.
John Marquis and Lee Brown both had chances to extend Pompey’s lead in the second half.
But, in the end, it was those eye-catching first-half moments that sealed the Blues’ passage into the next round, where they will face National League North Altrincham at Fratton Park.
And according to Harrogate manager Weaver, his players deserve credit for denying Jackett’s side clear cut chances in front of goal.
'Credit to Portsmouth for the quality of their two goals, I thought they were great strikes from distance,’ Weaver told BT Sport.
'But we'll have to look at this as an opportunity to learn and to deny the opposition with the quality they have with the opportunities they had from distance (was good).
‘They're fine margins, aren't they. When you come up against higher-placed teams, that quality is often the difference and it manifests itself in whatever way – beating a man or a bit of composure.
'But last night it's two devastating strikes that have been the difference and I'm really proud of the performance by the players.’
Weaver added his National League outfit deserved praise for the way they took the game to their League One visitors.
He said: ‘I thought we caused them problems, caused a lot of mayhem through Mark Beck and John Muldoon up front and the wide men when they were in the right position coming into the second balls – we had to have that kind of approach.
'We hurried them, we worried them, I thought their centre-halves really struggled against us – and that's good League One players with pedigree.
‘So I think it's credit to the players for the way they acquitted themselves and hopefully we can learn from this and get stronger as a unit with more and more belief.’