Harrogate Railway’s 2015 pre-season campaign concluded on Saturday afternoon as Field AFC contested a 1-1 draw at Station View.
Lee Ashforth was without a number of first team players for the fixture, but still watched his side take the lead in comical fashion as Tom Goodwin scored direct from a goal kick!
Field found an equaliser in the second half; scrambling home from a corner and threatened to take the lead on multiple occasions during the second 45.
Railway’s Manager made four changes from the side that faced Knaresborough on Tuesday night; bringing in Lawrance Hunter, Harry Brown, Jack Stockdill and new-signing Ollie Smith for Alex Low, Greg Kidd, James Beeston and Cameron Lynn.
Early signs of a partnership between Smith and strike-partner Roy Fogarty looked promising as the latter’s headed flick fed Smith who sent an ambitious volley wide.
Field also looked dangerous in the opening exchanges, responding to anything Railway threw at them with an attack of their own and shooting inches wide of the far post after 14 minutes.
Hunter’s influence was growing down the left, first the full back combined with Brown who was denied a shooting opportunity by a well-timed last ditch tackle, before crossing accurately to find Fogarty who also had possession stolen away at the last second.
Tom Goodwin was then called into action, saving a one-on-one down to his left after Field’s number seven had raced through on Railway’s goal unmarked.
After keeping the scores level, Railway’s ‘keeper gave his side the lead just a minute later in remarkable circumstances.
Goodwin saw his goal kick spectacularly catch the wind, carrying towards the Field penalty box before bouncing up and over the goalkeeper who was unable to scramble the ball away before it had crossed the line.
Railway came close to doubling their advantage ten minutes before the break when Dan Thirkell’s towering header from Hunter’s in-swinging corner cannoned off the underside of the bar and landed on the wrong side of the line.
There was still time in the half for Field to rattle the frame of the Harrogate goal when a low shot from the right hand side of the area struck the upright and rebounded clear.
Field found a deserved equaliser just two minutes into the second half; after a corner wasn’t cleared properly, a goal-line scramble ensued that was eventually finished off in acrobatic style.
The visitors’ goal-scorer almost turned provider moments later, sending in a cross that was headed straight into the arms of Goodwin.
Railway responded to the pressure they were under with substitute Jordan Outerbridge getting forward and seeing his teasing cross well intercepted before Thirkell’s promising low drive was blocked before it could reach the target.
Railway struggled to create chances in the second period, partly due to a number of personnel changes, and it was Field who had the best chance to win the game.
Goodwin’s lofted pass had been blocked inside the area resulting in Field collecting the ball in a dangerous position; however, the visiting attacker sent his effort wide when he had looked certain to score.
Next up for Harrogate Railway is the opening fixture of the 2015/16 Northern Premier League Division One North as highly rated Droylsden visit Station View on Saturday.
Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, McCarthy (Kidd 48), Hunter, Mycoe, Thirkell, Clamp (Taranadzo 59), Brown (Szacilo 75), Stockdill, Fogarty (Morris 83), Smith (Jones 78), Dhesi (Outerbridge 53).
Goals: Goodwin 21
Report by Hal Boxhall-Dockree
Photography Caught Light Photography