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Droylsden 1 – 1 Harrogate Town

Harrogate Town FCA tenacious performance by Town earned them a precious point at bogey team Droylsden.

Simon Weaver rejigged the Town line up with Paul Beesley recalled from Railway Athletic and Matt Bloomer replacing Jake Picton at No 2.

Town with a strong wind at their backs made the early running. Paul Bolland’s free kick was comfortably saved by St Louis -Hamilton in the Bloods goal before a superb header by Beesley from Craig Radcliffe’s cross sent Luke Dean away, but his centre was scrambled clear.

Town did not have long to wait for the breakthrough,in the ninth minute a long throw picked out Alex Meechan, who swivelled and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Town now had the bit between their teeth and a corner presented Adam Nowakowski with a free header which Hamilton dropped but quickly recovered to deny Beesley.

On thirteen minutes Droylsden equalised,Nowakowski bundled Warren Peyton over in the box and Dan Gardner just beat Mark Cook from the penalty spot.

Gardner and Dale Johnson were causing the Town defence problems and Matt Bloomer had to make a vital interception to thwart the Bloods.

Johnson’s clever back heel sent Gardner clear but he screwed wide, while for Town Nowakowski volleyed over and Tom Platt headed wide.

Shortly before the break Richard Pell limped off to be replaced by Andrew Burns,but this didn’t affect Harrogate’s momentum and Andy Longford had to head Bolland’s sidefooted volley off the line after Beesley had dispossessed the hesitant keeper Hamilton.

Droysden, with the worsening conditions in their favour,started the second half on the attack.

An excellent move saw skipper Lewis Killeen shoot at Cook before Alirou Nsangou’s long ball released Johnson who rounded Radcliffe but only found the side netting.

The mercurial Gardner then created a chance for full back Cliff Mayo,who could only shoot straight at Cook.

That was as good as it got for the Bloods, as Town with subs Will Turl and Lee Elam prominent, began to catch them on the break.

An Elam free kick to the near post was turned just over by Alan White,then Meechan broke down the right and his blocked shot appeared to be handled by a home defender, but Referee Hodskinson waived Town’s penalty appeals away.

Will Turl fired over from twenty yards before being played through by Elam;his low drive for the corner was brilliantly turned past the post by Hamilton only for the referee to inexplicably award a goalkick.

The paltry crowd of 169 enjoyed an entertaining game played in arctic conditions and Town at last left the Butcher’s Arms ground with something to show for their efforts.

Town 1 Cook 2 Bloomer 3 Radcliffe 4 Bolland (c) 5 Pell 6 White 7 Platt 8 Dean 9 Meechan 10 Beesley 11 Nowakowski

Subs 14 Brayson 15 Elam (rep Platt 72) 16 Youhill 17 Turl (rep Beesley 72) 18 Burns (rep Pell 39)

Scorer Meechan 9mins Bookings White, Nowakowski, Burns


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