Simon Weaver: Top ten spot spurring Harrogate Town on

A top ten finish would represent a true turnaround of fortunes for Harrogate Town this season, according to boss Simon Weaver.
Harrogate Town's Jake Speight scored on Tuesday night  (1411222AM4)Harrogate Town's Jake Speight scored on Tuesday night  (1411222AM4)
Harrogate Town's Jake Speight scored on Tuesday night (1411222AM4)

Town kept a hold on any surfacing relegation fears with a last-gasp victory at Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday night.

Jake Speight headed in a late winner with Weaver’s men down to ten men, following Louie Swain’s “harsh” sending off for two bookings.

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The smash and grab win was an instant recovery from Saturday’s crushing 5-2 defeat at play-off chasing Boston United, which saw Town give up a two-goal lead earned inside the first five minutes.

Speight’s winner at Gainsborough took the Wetherby Roaders 13 points above the relegation spots, with nine games left to play.

Weaver reject that the win meant Town were safe but said his side were starting to look upwards and not over the shoulder.

He said: “We have to make sure we try and bag another three as soon as possible.

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“A couple of years ago, half the league could have gone down in the last few weeks, so we have to be wary.

“I don’t have a points figure in my head, only to win as much as possible and finish as high as possible.

“There’s a chance of closing the gap between us and eighth and ninth positions. It would be good to get another couple of wins, and look upwards.

“I honestly believe, with everything we have been through and the serious injuries, it would be a big turnaround of events to reach the top ten.

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“That will still motivate us, and it will be a positive motivation.”

Defenders Dave McGurk and Luke Shiels suffered injuries in the Boston loss, with captain McGurk likely to miss three weeks of action.

Rather than replace them with former club captain Shane Killock, Weaver brought in 19-year-old Grimsby Town loanee Paul Walker.

Walker has joined on a month’s loan, however his debut ended early through injury. Weaver was also in talks yesterday to bring in Walker’s east coast teammate Paddy Mclaughlin, who is expected to officially sign today.

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The former Northern Ireland U21 midfielder helped York City to promotion from the Conference in 2012 before joining Grimsby in 2013.

He has scored three goals in 51 games at Blundell Park but has found himself out of the squad of late.

McLaughlin could make his debut in Saturday’s clash at home to Gloucester City, a side fighting relegation in 18th.

Gloucester edged Town 1-0 when the sides met at Whaddon Road in November.