Harrogate Town FC

Bishop’s Stortford 3 – 4 Harrogate Town

15 January 2012

Harrogate Town FCHarrogate’s first visit to Woodside Park ended with an excellent 4-3 victory.

Town, with Craig Radcliffe and Rob Youhill attacking down the flanks,made the early running.

Bishop’s were forced on to the back foot and it was no surprise when after 19 minutes Paul Brayson found Jonny Allan whose shot was turned into his own net by defender Alli Abdullahi.

This lit the blue touch paper under Bishop’s and their speedy attack began to pose problems for Town’s defence.

The mercurial Dwight Gayle brought out a fine diving save from Mark Cook, before skipper Reece Prestedge ran through the Town defence and gave Cook no chance after 28 minutes.

Ten minutes before the break, Town regained the lead when Jake Picton’s superb cross picked out Allan and home keeper Jordan Archer, could only parry his header to Paul Brayson, who calmly nodded home.

Any hopes Town had of having an interval lead were dashed on the stroke of half time when Picton brought down Gayle who promptly sent Cook the wrong way with his spot kick.

Harrogate replaced Richard Pell with Peter Bore at half time,and both teams served up an entertaining second half.

Harry Milton headed Prestedge’s corner wide for the Blues,and Town’s Allan White was just wide from Paul Bolland’s free kick.

Two goals in two minutes, firstly Allan’s header off the underside of the bar ,from Youhill’s corner, then Gayle’s close range shot past Cook, made it 3 all.

Undeterred,Town were not to be denied and with 17 minutes left Rob Youhill’s cross was only half cleared by the Blues defence and Jonny Allan capped a fine game when he drove into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.

Both sides had late chances, with Bishop’s Gayle shooting across the face of goal and Archer diving at Radcliffe’s feet to deny Town.

At the final whistle it was Harrogate who gained three welcome points to leapfrog Bishop’s in the league table.

Town 1 Cook 2 Picton 3 Heckingbottom 4 Brough (c) 5 Pell (Bore 45) 6 White 7 Youhill 8 Bolland 9 Brayson 10 Allan 11 Radcliffe

Unused subs 14 Beesley 15 Elam 17 Turl 19 Turnbull

Scorers Allan 67 73 Brayson 35 (Abdullahi 19 og) Bookings Pell,White

Attendance 433


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