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Match Reports

Portsmouth 1-2 Town - Town Reach the FA Cup Third Round for First Time

4 December 2021

Match Reports

Portsmouth 1-2 Town - Town Reach the FA Cup Third Round for First Time

4 December 2021

Harrogate Town will compete in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round for the first time in history following a 2-1 win over League One Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Jack Diamond provided the winning moment, turning Alex Pattison's cross into the net in the last minute of second half stoppage time.

Luke Armstrong had put Harrogate ahead in the 44th minute, though Portsmouth levelled seconds before the break, setting the scene for Diamond's late goal to spark wild celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.

Simon Weaver named the same starting XI as last weekend at Swindon, with the impressive trio of Josh Falkingham, Lloyd Kerry and Alex Pattison continuing in a midfield three.

In the opposition dugout, Danny Cowley made four changes from his side's win at Gillingham and took the opportunity to name four Academy players on the bench.

The opening 15 minutes passed with both sides threatening one another's goal, Jack Diamond curling wide for Town with Mark Oxley denying Marcus Harness at the other end.

The hosts went close to taking the lead in the 20th minute as a delivery from the left found it's way to Mahlon Romeo at the far post, but the Pompey man dragged his shot wide.

Much of Cowley's side's threat was being carried by Harness and Miguel Azeez, with the latter drawing a good block from Warren Burrell before firing narrowly over from a corner met first time just inside the Town box.

With just a minute left of the first half, Lloyd Kerry stuck out a leg to intercept a Portsmouth pass and gift possession to Armstrong, who coolly curled into the far corner to give his side the lead.

Town's advantage lasted just a matter of seconds though as Portsmouth went on the attack and saw a low strike fall kindly into the path of Harrison, who retained his composure to beat Oxley and restore parity at the break.

The sides looked evenly matched once again in the opening exchanges of the second half with Diamond forcing a good block from Popmey Skipper Sean Raggett and Harrison heading straight at Oxley.

Cowley looked to the bench on the hour mark, introducing Lee Brown and Ronan Curtis, the latter involved straight away, teeing up Reeco Hackett who fired over.

As the half went on, Town grew in confidence and were looking the more likely to take the lead, going close to doing so in the 77th minute through Armstrong, who turned George Thomson's shot just wide of the post.

Both Pattison and Diamond had chances to win it for Town on the break as the contest approached stoppage time, but it was in the final minute of the four that Town secured a memorable victory.

Page carried the ball along way down the left and found Pattison, who fed the ball across the edge of the area for Diamond to meet and guide into the corner, sending Harrogate Town into the FA Cup Third Round for the first time.

Town: Oxley, Page, Falkingham, Burrell, Thomson, Sheron, Pattison, Kerry, Hall, Diamond, Armstrong

Subs not used: Cracknell, Orsi, Muldoon, Power

Goals: Armstrong 44, Diamond 90+4

Booked: Kerry, Burrell, Diamond, Hall

Portsmouth: Bazanu, Williams, Harness, Freeman (Brown 57), Romeo, Oglivie, Harrison (Curtis 60), Hackett (Marquis 75), Raggett, Jacobs, Azeez

Subs not used: Bass, Ahadme, Payce, Gifford, Jewitt-White, Hughes

Goals: Harrison 45+1

Booked: Azeez, Williams

Referee: S Mather

Attendance: 7,857 (121 away)

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