In front of a crowd of 802, boosted by many children who took advantage of the free admission offer, Harrogate Town were held to a goalless draw by a rugged, well organised, Gloucester City.
Town fielded an unchanged starting eleven, but new signing from Southport, Luke Foster, was named among the subs.
Gloucester were quickest out of the blocks, but in the early exchanges, they were unable to create any clear cut chances.
A long throw from Lewis Turner presented Warren Burrell with Town’s first opportunity, but Jas Singh easily dealt with his weak volley.
However, the visiting keeper was soon in action again when he had to dive full length to keep out Paul Clayton’s header from a Brendan Daniels free kick.
Chris Knowles’s foul on Jordan Thewlis, gave Daniels yet another free kick, which sailed harmlessly to Singh in the Tiger’s goal.
A clever Clayton dummy created space for Thewlis but Rob Cundy saved Gloucester’s bacon with a brilliant block to deny the Town striker.
The Tigers were mounting threats of their own and Joe Hanks and Joe Parker placed shots wide of Town’s upright, while the impressive,Dave McGurk, had to make two timely defensive headers.
Seconds after the break, an opportunistic thirty yarder from Daniels just missed the target, and soon afterwards,Lloyd Kerry drove a shot straight at Singh after a Clayton cut back.
Jack Emmett made way for Joe Colbeck as Town sought to break down the resolute Tiger’s defence.
A Thewlis cross set up Kerry but his well struck shot was diverted for a corner,before, after good work between Mason Warren and Clayton the ball was squared to Colbeck who blazed well over the bar.
Peter Crook, who had largely been a spectator,earned his match fee with a magnificent block from Lewis Hall, after Colbeck had been dispossessed deep inside the Town half.
With fifteen minutes left,Tom Platt and Louis Swain replaced Burrell and Thewlis as Harrogate looked for all three points.
A Daniels free kick caused a goalmouth scramble in the Tiger’s defence and Swain headed a Warren cross at Singh.
A late free kick on the edge of the area gave Town a golden opportunity to snatch a late winner,but while a Colbeck right footer into the top corner seemed favourite,it was Daniels who stepped up to the plate to skim the crossbar.
On the face of it, it seemed a disappointing result, but with Solihull losing, at least Town pulled back a point on the leaders.
Harrogate Town 0 Gloucester City 0 Att.802
1 Crook, 2 Turner, 3 Warren, 4 Burrell (Platt 75), 5 Ellis (c), 6 McGurk, 7 Emmett (Colbeck 64), 8 Kerry,9 Clayton, 10 Thewlis (Swain 75),11 Daniels.
Unused subs, Gascoigne, Foster Booking nil Att.802
Report by John Harrison
Photography by Craig Hurle