Harrogate boss Simon Weaver demands response against Portsmouth in FA Cup following Eastleigh defeat

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt KirkhamHarrogate Town boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate boss Simon Weaver admitted he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ with his team’s showing as they warmed up for their FA Cup date against Pompey with defeat at Eastleigh.

National League Town play host to the Blues in the first round of the competition on Monday, November 11 – a game that will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

But they’ll go into the Wetherby Road fixture on the back of a loss following a 4-2 reverse against the Spitfires on Saturday.

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The defeat represented Harrogate’s first in 10 games, with the result on the south coast seeing them drop to sixth in the table.

And manager Weaver was frustrated by the way his side appeared to take another win for granted after going a goal up on nine minutes through Brendan Kiernan.

Assessing his team’s performance at Eastleigh, he told Harrogate’s media team: ‘I've been so proud of recent performances, stretching back over 10 games in an unbeaten run and lifting us up to fourth, but we've lost really by not performing at all.

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‘So many off their games, a lot of indecision across the park and not many players grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck.

'We were inviting trouble as soon as we went a goal up, we seemed to take our foot off the gas, almost as if we're going to do another game here unbeaten.

'It doesn't happen like that in life – we were soft, which is bitterly disappointing.

'It was a really disappointing day, and we'll have to learn from it.’

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Harrogate, who beat Halifax in the fourth qualifying round last month, have reached he first round of the FA Cup for the first time in seven years.

Their last home defeat in all competitions arrived back in August, when they lost 2-0 to Dover in the league.

Meanwhile, they have won five of their past six games in their own backyard.

Weaver will be keen to add to those impressive starts when Pompey arrive next week.

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And he’s demanded his team bounce back from Saturday’s defeat and show ‘real intent’ against Kenny Jackett's Blues.

'Defeats happen in the game and we've got to put it to one side and move on,’ added Weaver.

'We've proved we are a good team, we've got good players, good spirit, we were well under par (against Eastleigh).

‘All good runs come to an end. But we've got to make sure we bounce back in style and show our real intent in our next game which is Portsmouth.

'Regardless of who it's against, we need to be better.

'But it's a big occasion and week on Monday and we're really looking forward to it.'