Harrogate Town gained a valuable point in their push for a play off place, with a goalless draw at fellow contenders, Nuneaton Town.
Dave McGurk returned to the defence and Mason Warren started at number ten,while on the bench,Paul Beesley made a welcome return to the Town colours.
Two early strikes from Vamara Sanogo and Elliott Whitehouse flashed well wide of Town’s goal as Nuneaton mounted two quick attacks,but Town soon hit back with Lloyd Kerry heading a Louis Swain centre over the top and Brendan Daniels hitting a free kick over the angle, after Jack Emmett had been fouled by Cieron Keane.
Peter Crook was called into action to save a shot from home skipper,Shane Byrne,as Nuneaton struggled to find any rhythm and it was Town who looked the more cohesive outfit.
Home striker, Rob Duffy,had to help in defence to keep out a low Daniels free kick,and as half time approached, Jordan Smith had to race off his line to punch a dangerous Mason Warren cross clear of danger.
Two free kicks early in the second half from Danny Ellis and Daniels kept Nuneaton on the back foot and David Morgan’s foul on Emmett enabled Lewis Turner to fire a free kick into the box, which Nuneaton scrambled away.
On the hour,the tricky Jack Emmett who had received some rough treatment from the home defence, made way for Jordan Thewlis, but “Boro”urged on by an increasingly frustrated home crowd,tried to lift their game and Whitehouse shot at Crook from the edge of the area.
A brilliant run from Swain ended with a low cross that was just out of reach of the advancing Thewlis and then Paul Clayton won the ball and fed Thewlis who drove across goal.
With twenty minutes left, Boro threw on their trump card,ex Forest and Villa striker,Marlon Harewood,and he immediately showed his class with a smart turn and shot that flashed past the upright.
Thewlis was brought down by Jordan Keane and Smith had to dive full length to keep out Daniels’ free kick.
A superb tackle on Harewood by Swain prevented a Nuneaton breakthrough and the tall veteran striker was well handled by Ellis and McGurl who were unyielding in the defence.
Tom Platt had a fine game breaking up Boro attacks in midfield,while at the back, Crook’s handling was excellent and he did well to hang on to a late low cross from Whitehouse as Nuneaton pressed for a late winner.
As the game entered stoppage time,Smith had to dive to keep out a long range effort from Daniels,while at the other end, Harewood dragged a shot across goal.
This point favoured Harrogate more than the chasing Nuneaton.So its on to Saturday when Boston are the visitors to the CNG Stadium,in yet another vital game for a play off place.
1 Crook, 2 Turner, 3 Swain, 4 Platt, 5 Ellis (c), 6 McGurk, 7 Emmett (Thewlis 61), 8 Kerry, 9 Clayton ( Beesley 87), 10 Warren, 11 Daniels.
Unused subs,14 Colbeck,15 Thirlwell,16 Foster Booking Daniels Att 612
By John Harrison