A stunning fightback by F C United snatched victory from Harrogate Town at a squally Broadhurst Park.
Nat Brown replaced the injured Dave McGurk in Town’s defence and loan signing from York City, Tom Platt,took Brown’s place on the bench.
Lewis Lacy’s foul on Paul Clayton gave Town a first minute chance, but Brendan Daniels hit his free kick high into the packed kop.
F C United replied with Chris Chantler and Tom Madeley setting up Harry Winter, who tested Peter Crook from thirty yards,while at the other end, Lloyd Kerry’s long range effort, forced Dave Carnell to tip over the bar.
On twentytwo minutes it was Town who drew first blood when Paul Thirlwell found Lewis Turner and his long ball over the defence was sidefooted in by Daniels.
Six minutes later, Town’s large travelling support went into raptures when Danny Ellis headed a Daniels corner back across goal and Kerry supplied a clinical finish for Town’s second.
Shorltly afterwards, the three thousand plus home supporters were stunned into silence when Joe Colbeck broke through the middle to make it three.
Unfortunately for Town, two United goal either side of half time dramatically altered the shape of the game.
On fortyfive minutes, Lewis Turner was penalised for a foul on Sam Madeley and George Thomson’s free kick from the left was only cleared back to Thomson, whose shot from twenty yards appeared to take a slight deflection, to wrong foot Crook.
Town needed to consolidate at the start of the second half, but were undone within seconds of the restart when Sam Sheridan shot into the far corner of the net from the edge of the area.
Town hit back promptly with Thirlwell playing in Colbeck but his shot was well blocked and then Colbeck finished off an excellent run from Warren Burrell by shooting over the angle.
F C United,who were attacking towards the massed ranks of their own supporters, had the bit between their teeth and two goals in two minutes put them in front.
On fifty-five minutes, skipper Tom Greaves broke through the square Town defence to equalise and soon afterwards, Thirlwell’s blocked clearance rebounded to Sam Madeley who raced through to make it four.
Five minutes later, Town gave themselves a mountain to climb when Louis Swain was sent off for retaliation after he had been upended by Madeley.
Simon Weaver brought on Jack Emmett and Sidibe Lassana to replace Clayton and Thirlwell respectively, but it was United who nearly made it five when Greaves dispossessed Burrell and sprinted clear only to be denied by a superb block by Crook.
Tom Platt was brought on for the final twenty minutes to replace Daniels and to their credit the ten men took the game to F C United.
Emmett’s trickery began to cause the home defence problems and Carnell had to save an Ellis header from Turner’s free kick.
Platt was showing some nice touches on his return and Lassana had a late chance to square the match but his header from Emmett’s centre was off target.
Although the referee allowed a generous five minutes stoppage time, F C United easily ran the clock down to record a hard fought win in an absorbing match.
F C United 4 Harrogate Town 3 Att.3362
1 Crook, 2 Turner, 3 Swain, 4 Thirlwell (Lassana 65), 5 Ellis (c), 6 Brown, 7 Colbeck, 8 Kerry, 9 Clayton (Emmett 65), 10 Burrell, 11 Daniels (Platt 69).
Unused subs, 12 Thewlis, 17 Worrall. Sending off Swain 62, Bookings Colbeck 50,Lloyd 53.
Scorers,Daniels 22,Lloyd 29,Colbeck 36 Att. 3362
By John Harrison.