Friday, November 20, 2009

Harrogate survive FC United scare

Source: BBC

Harrogate Town survived a nervous six minutes of stoppage time to beat FC United of Manchester 3-2 at Gigg Lane to reach the FA Trophy first round.

Craig James, Rory Coleman and Andy Nowakowski gave Town a 3-0 lead before Simon Carden scored two for the hosts.

Aaron Ratchford's penalty save for Town just before half-time proved crucial.

Town manager Simon Weaver told BBC Radio York: "We could have been four, five or six (up), but in the end we defended very, very well."

Weaver added: "It was very demanding on our defenders and goalkeeper (at the end), they threw everyone forward and had nothing to lose."

Carden's second goal came on 85 minutes, but Town then had to defend for another eleven minutes.

"I do believe in this back four and the goalkeeper," Weaver added, "but it's cup football and they ended up playing four up (front).

"I was saying "don't go gung-ho," because we were still throwing bodies forward in the last couple of minutes. It's outrageous sometimes."

Weaver felt the penalty was a dubious decision, but was delighted to see Ratchford make what turned out to be a critical save.

"I just had a funny feeling when (FC United's Phil Marsh) stepped up, Ratchford looked pretty big in those nets and he pulled off a fine save."

And now the Harrogate boss is looking forward to the next round.

"I just want a spirit to run though the club. We're really grafting to make something that was nothing at the beginning of the season.

"We've had a few hard knocks. The ones here now are the ones who were strong enough to have taken them and to get better in their own performances."