Harrogate Town retained the John Smiths Trophy with an 8-0 demolition of Railway Athletic at Station View.
An early foul by Ryan Sharrock saw Louis Swain’s free kick cleared to Jack Emmett who squared to the unmarked John Paul Pitman, only for Jake Lofthouse to make a superb block.
Town piled on the pressure with Andi Thanoj heading over and Lofthouse turning a Warren Burrell shot onto the post.
With ten minutes of the half left,Town took the lead when Rail’s, Greg Kidd ,failed to cut out a long ball, leaving Jordan Robertson to curl in from an acute angle.
Town’s best move of the first half ended with Burrell missing Emmett’s centre with only Lofthouse to beat.
Stout Rail defending, with skipper Danny Stimpson outstanding,had nullified Town’s attacking efforts,but after the break all was to change.
Initially, Danny Ellis blocked a powerful drive from Rail’s Steve Bromley, but Town soon took control.
Lofthouse made a brilliant save from Pitman after Emmett’s shot had been blocked,but soon an incisive ball from Swain enabled Emmett to cross for Lloyd Kerry to make it two with a crashing volley.
Town then made eight subs and with his first touch Dom Knowles headed in number three,followed shortly afterwards by Joe Leesley firing in Town’s fifth.
Chib Chilaka got himself on to the scoresheet with a rasping drive, before Rail made subs of their own and Izzy Mbine shot narrowly wide of the upright.
With minutes left, trialist Joel Purkiss, shot into the far corner and in the final minutes, Chilaka and Knowles broke through the tiring Rail defence to complete the scoring.
Report by John Harrison
Photographs by Craig Hurle