An encouraging performance in the opening game of the season gave Harrogate Railway a well-deserved point against a much-fancied Droylsden on Saturday.
Lee Ashforth was taking charge of his first competitive game as Railway boss and witnessed his side get off to a dream start when Vincent Dhesi put the hosts ahead in the first five minutes.
Dan Thirkell and Jack Stockdill were dominant in the centre of the pitch for the majority of the contest, however, a strong Droylsden side equalised mid-way into the second half through Ben Hampson.
The draw means Railway go into Tuesday’s tie at Spennymoor with a point on the board, level with their upcoming opponents who drew 1-1 at Glossop North End on the opening day.
Spennymoor Manager Jason Ainsley will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the reverse fixture last year when Railway ran out 3-1 winners at Brewery Field.
Lee Ashforth, meanwhile, will no doubt be looking to take positives from Saturday, and there were plenty of them, into the trip North.
Tuesday’s opponents were unfortunate not to seal promotion last season; losing out in the play-off final, after an impressive 5th place finish, and look set to mount another strong challenge to move up the leagues this year.
In an added twist of fate, the two sides are set to meet for the second time in 12 days when Railway and Spennymoor lock horns on 29th August; with a place in the Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifier Round up for grabs.
Report by Hal Boxhall-Dockree
Photography by Caught Light Photography