In a hard fought match at the CNG Stadium,Harrogate Town went down by a single goal to newly promoted Barrow F C.
The match was preceded by an impeccably observed minutes silence in memory of popular former Town secretary and director, Brian Russell.
Town almost took an early lead when Joe Colbeck’s twenty yard drive came back off the upright with Arron Taylor well beaten.
Full time Barrow began to show their pedigree and Andy Howarth’s strong run was only ended with a foul tackle from Luke Shiels. Jason Walker narrowly missed with the ensuing free kick.
Walker was again quickly in action when Dave Mellor created an opening for him,but luckily for Town he dragged his shot well wide.
Town, with Colbeck and Brendan Daniels raiding down the wings,were well in the game and James Risborough won a corner which Shiels headed over.
James Cadman,who was prominent in midfield,found Daniels with a raking crossfield pass and his dangerous centre forced Neil Ashton to concede a corner.
The tall, uncompromising Barrow defence held firm and it was the Blue’s,Paddy Lacey,who pushed forward to shoot wide just before the break.
The second half opened in sensational fashion when Howarth’s cross hit Shiels’s arm from point blank range and Mr Mellor awarded a penalty.
James Walker drove low to Crook’s right,but the Town keeper pulled out a superb save to keep Town’s goal intact.
Both teams made several substitutions and it was Harrogate who began to exert pressure with Paul Clayton heading wide and Cadman firing a free kick across goal.
The only goal of the game arrived after 65 minutes,when Barrow were awarded a free kick twenty yards out.Sub,Dan Pilkington, stepped forward to beat Crook with a well placed strike.
Town hit back strongly and Jordan Thewlis was inches high with a powerful shot.
This was a good workout for Town against a Vanarama National League outfit.
The next pre-season friendly is on Wednesday the 22nd, when Gateshead are the visitors.
By John Harrison.