Harrogate Town v Railway Athletic match report

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Harrogate Town retained the John Smiths Cup with a narrow 1-0 victory over local rivals, Railway Athletic.

The game survived a torrential pre match downpour which kept the attendance down to a disappointing 410.

Town made the early running and Joe Colbeck’s centre produced a measured header from Dom Knowles which the Rail defence cleared off the line.

Rail were playing well in midfield through Vincent Dhesi and Dan Thirkell and a delightful ball inside the full back from Dhesi, dispatched Laurence Hunter down the left, but Danny Ellis was on hand to cut out his cross.

The game was taking time to catch fire, although Knowles went close with a free kick and Luke Shiels just failed to turn in a Cecil Nyoni shot.

Rail’s attacks were petering out against the Town defence when they reached the area and the closest they came was when Hunter’s free kick curled past the far upright.

The last action of the half saw Louis Swain test the impressive, Tom Goodwin with two powerful shots.

The only goal of the game came after 57 minutes after Hunter’s foul on Paul Clayton.Andy McWilliams hit the ensuing free kick low into the Rail area and Swain reacted first, to poke the ball inside the near post.

Town fielded almost a full team of subs,compared to Rail’s three, and the fitness began to tell.

Goodwin kept Rail in the game with several fine saves, including turning a Knowles drive onto the underside off the crossbar,which luckily for Rail bounced clear.

A Steve Bromley free kick failed to trouble the home defence and the match ended with Goodwin once again pulling out a top drawer save to keep out Lloyd Kerry’s thirty yard drive.

So,in a match which rarely got out of second gear, Town retain the Trophy for another year.

Harrogate Town 1 Railway Athletic 0 Attt.410

By John Harrison.


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