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A tremendous second half performance gained Harrogate Town all three points at the magnificent, Keys Park Stadium.
The Pitmen, smarting from Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Gloucester City, made a blistering start.
McCone fired at Craig MacGillivray from 20 yards and Adam Bolder managed to turn a dangerous cross for a corner.
Town’s first attack looked promising as they pushed forward in strength but Francino Francis intercepted Bolder’s pass and launched the ball downfield.
The Harrogate defence was stretched but MacGillivray managed to block Neil Harvey’s initial effort,however Greg Pearson was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Town were finding it hard to match Hednesford’s physical strength and were also losing the aerial battles.
The Pitmen gained two free kicks on the edge of the Town box as Town resorted to desperate measures to stem the tide.Luckily both Pearson and Elliott Durrell were too high with their efforts.
Town’s two best chances of the half fell to returning skipper,Shane Killock,who headed a Bolder free kick at Dan Crane in the home goal,before heading Craig Nelthorpe’s free kick over the bar.
Adam Nowakowski replaced Conor Sellars at the break and Town’s fortunes improved almost immediately.
Two minutes into the half Crane did well to turn Nelthorpe’s shot for the top corner round the post.
The resulting corner was cleared as far as Bolder,who crossed the ball back into the area,where Killock’s header was turned in at the far post by Liam Hardy.
Hednesford mounted a series of powerful attacks, only this time Town, with Nowakowski prominent were beginning to win the aerial duels.
Chris Hall and Cleveland Taylor replaced Liam Hardy and Michael Woods respectively and Town began to look dangerous on the break.
Gaps began to appear in the home defence and Killock lobbed narrowly wide from a corner before an Ashley Worsfold shot just missed the upright.
Town’s travelling faithful had their hearts in their mouths when Tom Thorley’s corner found the unmarked Jamie Osbourne, but his wayward header let Town off the hook.
With six minutes left, Hednesford’s vulnerability to corners was once again exposed when Bolder’s cross fell to Chris Hall who promptly shot home from close range.
Referee Rob Ellis, who at times struggled to contain a feisty game, awarded five minutes stoppage time, but it was the visitors who profited.
Worsfold, who had been treated for cramp, managed to square to the unmarked, Cleveland Taylor who swept home Town’s third to give Harrogate an excellent victory.
1 MacGillivray, 2 Bloomer, 3 Nelthorpe, 4 Bolder, 5 Franks, 6 Killock (c), 7 Hardy ( Hall 75 mins), 8 Abbott, 9 Worsfold, 10 Woods (Taylor 83), 11 Sellars ( Nowakowski 45).
Unused subs, 14 Mallory, 16 Merris. Bookings Bolder,Hardy,Sellars,Nowakowski.
Scorers Hardy 47,Hall 84, Taylor 90+4 Attendance 458
By John Harrison
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