Staveley left Station View happy as they collected their first points of the new campaign. However it could and probably should have been so different.
Railway looked solid in the first half, forcing chance after chance but couldn’t beat Lewis Naylor who was in superb form.
Railway’s Stephen Bromley got on to the end of a pinpoint Ryan Sharrocks cross which had Goal written all over it, but Naylor somehow got a hand to the ball and forced it round the post.
The Locomotives were then awarded a free kick on the left. A superb ball was whipped into the box and headed back to Danny Stimpson who volleyed it on target, only to see the ball pushed onto the post and out for a corner.
Bromley again forced Staveley’s ‘keeper Naylor into another stunning save with a shot from the edge of the area.
Railway were on top and could have gone in at half time three goals up, but instead they had to be content with a solid performance and look to continue creating chances during the second 45 minutes.
The Rail kicked the second half off and went straight on the attack with Marcus Day [making his first appearance this season] and Bromley pushing forward.
But it was on 58 Minutes when Railway hit the self-destruct button by offering the first of two gifted goals.
The usually assured Danny Stimpson won the ball on the edge of the Harrogate Railway box.
Adam Lee, the Miners’ forward closed him down and Stimpson elected to play backwards to Jake Lofthouse in the Railway goal to clear.
However, he under-hit the pass. Jake tried to collect the ball but was beaten to it by the alert Lee, who rounded Lofthouse and passed across goal to Watson who rolled the ball into the empty net. 1-0 and a tough job just got tougher.
Railway tried to get back into the match. But it was the 75th minute when Railway conceded another gift of a goal. Rail’s ‘keeper who has been a hero of recent games went to pass what should have been a routine ball up the pitch to one of his teammates.
There was a moment’s delay and the advancing Watson tried to close him down. Lofthouse rushed his clearance, which cannoned back off the attacker and behind him. It was Watson who reacted first, getting to the ball and tapping it into an empty net. The visitors lead by two goals.
Lee Ashforth, Railway’s manager threw caution to the wind and went three at the back and changed to a very attacking formation.
Marcus Day and Simon Parkes made way for forwards Chris Ovington and Dan Barrett, but with time against the home team, the changes weren’t enough to get back into the game.
The best chance of the second period for Harrogate Railway to score, fell to George Mason who had two shots blocked within a few seconds.
From his second shot, the ball ricocheted off the defenders back to George, who struck it for the third time only to see the unbeatable Naylor get a hand on to the ball and clear it from danger.
Harrogate Railway look to Tuesday Night when they play host to one of the League’s favourites – Handsworth Parramore. Railway then have a tie in the FA Cup on Saturday when they face Consett in the first Qualifying Round.