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Harrogate Town 3 – 2 Bridlington Town

A last minute goal from sub, Chib Chilaka,gave Town victory over a resiliant,Bridlington Town and put them into the next round of the F A Cup.

A growing injury list forced, Simon Weaver to reshuffle the pack and Danny Ellis and Paul Thirlwell were given their first starts of the season.

Harrogate made a strong start and within two minutes a fumble by keeper, James Hitchcock, provided Jon Paul Pittman with a chance, but his effort hit the underside of the crossbar and rebounded clear.

Harrogate’s speed and passing ability kept Brid on the back foot, although Danny Chambers did break away and fire past Town’s upright.

Town duly opened the scoring after twentyfive minutes when Brid’s chief tormenter,Jack Emmett, found Pittman on the far post and he cut inside to shoot past Hitchcock.

Three minutes later Simon Ainge headed in Joe Colbeck’s excellent free kick only for it to be ruled out for offside by the Assistant’s raised flag.

As Harrogate dominated,Hitchcock saved well from Wayne Brooksby at the foot of the post, while Pittman and Lewis Turner shot narrowly over the bar.

As half time approached, Chambers released Saturday’s scorer,Joel Sutton,but Brid’s danger man flashed a rising drive over the top.

An early second half strike from Emmett appeared to put Town well on the road to victory, but Brid had other ideas.
Dom Knowles steered a Colbeck cross into the path of Emmett who made it two with a shot into the far corner,but within a minute Brid had reduced the arrears.

The Town defence failed to cut out a long centre and Chris Adams swept the ball into the home net.

For the next half hour it was one way traffic as Town laid siege to the Brid goal.

Brooksby was causing havoc with a series of penetrating runs and Knowles shot over after an Emmett shot was parried to him.

Ainge followed up with an header from another Emmett cross only for Knowles to sky over from point blank range after a block by Hitchcock.

The overworked Hitchcock saved twice with his feet and generally kept Brid in the game as Town chances came thick and fast.

Warren Burrell shot wide after he picked up Hitchcock’s punch out from a Chilaka centre, but it appeared Town would hold on for hard fought win.

As on Saturday, the eightysixth minute provided an equalising goal.

Louis Kirk’s free kick from halfway inside Harrogate’s half was met by Ryan Nicholls at the far post and his powerful header flashed past Peter Crook into the net.

As the game entered the last minute of normal time,the Town’s faithful supporters stoically prepared for a period of extra time.

However, Brooksby with his last kick before being substituted by Tom Platt, hoisted the ball into the Brid penalty area where Chilaka turned and drove the winner low past Hitchcock, thus securing Town a trip to F C United of Manchester in the next round.

Town
1 Crook, 2 Colbeck, 3 Turner, 4 Thirlwell, 5 Ellis (c), 6 Ainge, 7 Brooksby (Platt 89), 8 Burrell, 9 Pittman, 10 Knowles (Chilaka 72), 11 Emmett.

Unused subs, 14 Leesley, 15 Purkiss,18 Stewart. Bookings Thirlwell, Ainge,Brooksby, Knowles.
Scorers, Pittman 25, Emmett 51, Chilaka 89. Man of the Match,Thirlwell. Att.446

Report by John Harrison.

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