Harrogate Railway produced a 5-star performance on Tuesday night as they brushed aside the challenge of Yorkshire Amateur at Station View.
Braces from both Roy Fogarty and Ryan Sharrocks, along with a goal from Vincent Dhesi, demonstrated the gulf in class between Railway and their NCEL Division One opponents who left with a late consolation goal to their name.
A waterlogged Bracken Edge had initially put the fixture in doubt, however, a late venue switch allowed Railway to get back to winning ways ahead of the eagerly anticipated all-Harrogate clash on Saturday.
Railway boss Lee Ashforth chose to give minutes to some of his lesser used players; handing starts to Dhesi, Charlie Clamp and Jordan Outerbridge.
The hosts started on the front foot with Fogarty and Sharrocks both trying their luck early on, but failing to find the target.
Yorkshire Amateur also attempted a shot from range, while Jack Stockdill couldn’t divert his header between the posts for Harrogate who eventually took the lead on 17 minutes.
Dhesi drifted over to the left, beat his man and floated a cross over the head of the visitors ‘keeper for Sharrocks to head home at the back post.
Dan Thirkell almost doubled the lead just minutes later, heading wide from Outerbridge’s cross, before Fogarty got Railway’s second after 28 minutes.
Dann Barrett’s dummy had completely fooled his marker and created an overload for Railway as the winger carried the ball up the pitch before finding Sharrocks in space on the right who slid a low cross into the path of Fogarty to dispatch into the net.
Another long shot from the visitors failed to test Tom Goodwin before Fogarty got his second, and Harrogate’s third, with four minutes of the half remaining.
Barrett again caused problems in possession on the left, and when the ball found its way to Fogarty inside the area, the striker powered home in confident fashion to notch his third goal of pre-season.
Yorkshire Amateur were first to force a save after the restart when a long range effort swerved in the air, although Goodwin was able to get his body in the way and deflect away the danger.
Railway then came close when Barrett nearly got lucky with a cross that sailed over the ‘keeper’s head and bounced agonizingly off the cross-bar and away.
Dhesi had impressed throughout and again showed his skill, when receiving a pass inside the visitors’ box, the attacker took the ball in his stride on the turn and looked to poke past the goalkeeper, only for an outstretched arm to deny Railway a fourth goal.
Dhesi got his rewards for a fine display with a goal on 70 minutes after dribbling into the area, evading multiple challenges and delightfully lifting the ball over the goalkeeper.
Ten minutes later Railway got their fifth and final goal of the evening as Sharrocks put the icing on the cake with a low shot into the bottom left corner.
Railway’s Leeds based opponents did get something to show for their short trip in the 89th minute when a well worked move from defence to attack was finished with a placed shot into the bottom right corner.
Harrogate Railway would like to thank Yorkshire Amateur and wish them the best for the upcoming season.
Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, Beeston, Outerbridge (Kidd 58), Wood (Taranadzo 70), Thirkell (Brown 64), Stockdill (Low 55), Clamp, Barrett, Fogarty, Dhesi, Sharrocks
Goals: Sharrocks 17, 80, Fogarty 28, 41, Dhesi 70
Referee: N. Bannister
Match report: Hal Boxhall-Dockree
Photography: Caught Light Photography