Harrogate Town maintained their title challenge with an excellent win over high flying Gloucester City.
Andi Thanoj replaced Paul Thirlwell and Andy Gascoigne returned from a loan spell to be given a place on the bench.
Town nearly took an early lead when Jack Deaman deflected Jack Emmett’s cross, but Jasbir Singh saved the Tigers with a diving stop.
Unfortunately, Gloucester suffered a blow in the seventh minute,when leading scorer,Luke Hopper, limped off with a leg injury.
With quarter of an hour gone,Jon Paul Pittman robbed Deaman with a sliding tackle to send himself clear, but could only slice wide of the goal.
Town were well in control and ten minutes later Danny Ellis rose at the far post to head in Thanoj’s corner to open their account.
He almost repeated the dose soon afterwards,but his header was just wide of the upright.
Tiger’s sub, Joe Parker, relieved the pressure with a shot on the turn which forced Peter Crook into a full length save.
Gloucester were finding it hard to counter Town’s free flowing football and on the stroke of half time Wayne Brooksby was brought down on the edge of the area.
Thanoj stepped up to the plate and beat Singh with a superb strike into the top right hand corner.
Gloucester fought back after the break and sub James Fitzgibbon found skipper Tom Webb, whose rising drive forced a fingertip save from Crook.
Halfway through the half, a Joe Colbeck foul presented,Joe Hanks, with a free kick which Edward Williams chested in at the far post.
However, Gloucester’s revival was short lived because four minutes later, Dom Knowles fastened on to a Pittman flick on, got between two defenders and lobbed the advancing Singh to restore Town’s two goal cushion.
Further attempts by Emmett, Warren Burrell and Tom Platt were all blocked by the Tiger’s defence as Town pushed forward.
A last minute free kick from Hanks sailed just over Town’s crossbar, but this win will have put Town in good heart for next weeks F A Cup tie at F C United.
1 Crook, 2 Colbeck, 3 Turner,4 Thanoj (Platt 75), 5 Ainge, 6 Ellis (c), 7 Brooksby (Leesley 56), 8 Burrell, 9 Pittman, 10 Knowles (Chilaka 78), 11 Emmett.
Unused subs,16 Gascoigne,18 Stewart.
Scorers,Ellis 25,Thanoj 45,Knowles 70. Man of the Match Thanoj, Booking Colbeck Att.729.
Harrogate Town 3 Gloucester City 2 Att. 729
Report by John Harrison
Photographs by Craig Hurle