Harrogate Town 3 Altrincham 2
Harrogate’s new season started with a bang, as a large Altrincham contingent greeted the teams with two red flares.
The visitors,prompted by the tricky Nicky Clee, dominated the early exchanges and it took excellent blocks by Bloomer and Cook to prevent Town falling behind.
However, Town took the lead with their first meaningful attack, when Paul Brayson scored from the spot, after Laurie Wilson had been brought down by Adam Flynn.
This signalled a period of Town dominance with Brayson and Jake Picton going close with headers.
Brayson doubled Town’s lead after 34 minutes with a real poacher’s goal, when he slid in Michael Tait’s cross at the far post.
After the break Alty battered the Town defence in an attempt to get back into the game and it was no surprise when Michael Twiss scored via a post from a Clee’s pass.
Town suffered a severe blow after 65 minutes when Tait was red carded after a foul on Clee.
Alty turned the screw and equalised with a good individual goal by Damian Reeves who wrong footed the Town defence before shooting home.
The Harrogate goal had a charmed life and Cook,Bloomer and sub Paul Heckingbottom made vital blocks as Town hung on.
To the surprise of the large crowd, Town grabbed a late winner with their second penalty of the game.
As the match entered added time, loan signing Callum Hassan was pulled back in the box by Adam Flynn who was promptly sent off by Referee Gary Beswick.Laurie Wilson blasted home the resulting penalty to give Town a hard fought win.
Harrogate Town: Mark Cook, Matt Bloomer, Craig Radcliffe, Ian Ross, Adam Nowakowski (Richard Pell), Jake Picton, Laurie Wilson, Michael Tait, Paul Brayson (Paul Heckingbottom), Callum Hassan, Stephen Turnbull
Subs Unused: Lee Elam, Liam Hardy, Will Turl
Next game is an away match on Tuesday 16th August Stalybridge Celtic