A WEEK of disappointment for Harrogate Town saw the beleaguered side crash to two Blue Square North defeats in four days.
The men from Wetherby Road lost a hard fought game 3-2 away to Worcester City on Saturday before travelling to Cumbria on Tuesday night only to lose 2-1 at Workington FC.
Now Simon Weaver’s men face the tough prospect of tomorrow’s visit from second-placed Hyde FC and the boss wants his men to be the warriors he needs (3pm).
“We have got to be more ruthless and stronger mentally,” said Weaver.
“People have to be accountable for their mistakes and learn from them. We need warriors in the team right now.
“Hyde are a good team but we are in front of our home supporters and hopefully there will be a vocal crowd on the day.”
A suspension-hit Harrogate made a bright start on Saturday with Luke Dean and Peter Bore testing Worcester’s ‘keeper, only for the home side to take the lead against the run of play.
Town responded with gusto but a strike by Bore was agonisingly ruled offside sending the visitors into the break trailing 1-0.
Harrogate came out firing in the second half and with only a minute played were rewarded with a Jonny Allan equaliser.
Town continued to press but again found themselves behind when Worcester capitalised on a goal-mouth scramble to score.
Dean, impressing on his debut, pulled Town level with a cool finish from a corner, but a team lacking match practice soon succumbed to Worcester’s onslaught.
Controversy marred the finish of the game, with ‘keeper Zac Jones sent off for bringing down Worcester’s Luke Corbett.
Skipper Paul Heckingbottom took over in goal, heroically saving Corbett’s penalty.
But with seconds to play, a weak clearance fell to Worcester’s Matt Birley who drove the ball past Heckingbottom to seal the victory for his side.
Assistant coach John McDermott said: “I know it’s hard these days to talk about the referee and criticise them but as a player you have to look at yourself when you have a bad game and hold your hands up and I think she’s had a poor performance here if I am honest.
“We have had two blatant penalties turned down and I thought we scored a decent goal only to see it disallowed and honestly they haven’t had a decision against them all match.”
McDermott said Town travelled to Cumbria knowing Workington were struggling and hoped to take out Saturday’s frustration on them, but that it was clear from the beginning Town lacked the enthusiam of Saturday’s encounter.
Under pressure from the start, it was against the run of play that Bore latched onto a poor defensive clearance to give Town a 1-0 lead.
After that Harrogate seemed to wake up and Will Turl and Bore both went close with Workington’s only real response coming from set pieces.
“You could see the lack of confidence in Workington and we were starting to come into the game a little bit more,” McDermott told the Advertiser, “The first 45 minutes were a bit scruffy, but I couldn’t see them scoring a goal.”
However, moments into the second half, a mis-hit clearance by Jones fell straight to Workington’s Jonny Wright who gratefully tucked away the equaliser.
Workington pressed, with poor finishing and solid goalkeeping by Jones the only things keeping the scores level.
Town attempted to reorganise with a series of substitutions but Workington took the spoils when Wright slammed a tremendous shot into the top corner.
Town tried to respond, but their last-ditch attack amounted to nothing when Allan swept the ball over from close range.
“We’ve got a serious amount of potential in this club,” said Weaver. “It’s just kind of frustrating right now to lose when we know we are playing well.”