Harrogate Town 1 – 4 Darlington 1883

Town lost their fifth match in succession when they were beaten 4-1 at home by Darlington 1883.

For Harrogate, on loan striker from Bradford City,Reece Webb-Foster, was given a start and new keeper, Chris Elliott was on the subs bench.

The Quakers made a whirlwind start with Stephen Thompson forcing an early corner, but Town hit back and Peter Jameson had to dive at Webb-Foster’s feet to stop him converting Marcus Day’s centre.

The first goal arrived on four minutes when a deep Josh Gillies cross from the left wing sailed past Peter Crook at the far post.

In a high tempo match, played before a bumper crowd,it was Town who began to pile on the pressure.

It took a brilliant tackle from Liam Marrs to deny Webb-Foster, after he had once again been played in by Day, and Jameson was then at full stretch to tip an Andi Thanoj free kick over the .

Town’s persistence paid off after thirty-two minutes with a goal out of the top drawer.

Simon Ainge’s long pass down the right was centred first time by Joe Colbeck and Webb-Foster completed the move with a header past Jameson to net his first goal for Town.

Unfortunately,Town’s joy was shortlived as the Quakers broke down the left within a minute and Mark Beck rifled in after Nathan Cartman’s initial shot had been blocked.

Wayne Brooksby was proving to be a handfull for the visiting defence and his run across the area made on opening for Lewis Turner, only for Jameson to save with his legs.

A tempestuous five minutes either side of the break decided the outcome of the match.A Kevin Burgess foul on the touchline earned him a yellow card and Thanoj’s free kick to the far post was headed in by Danny Ellis, only for referee, Stephen Copeland, to spot a push and disallow the goal.

The Quaker’s went further ahead with the last action of the half when Thompson’s twentyfive yard shot took a slight deflection off Ainge to wrong foot Crook.

Town were reduced to ten men, two minutes into the second half when Ellis brought down Cartman on the edge of the penalty area and was shown a red card.

Ex Townie, Dave Syers replaced Gillies on fifty five minutes and three minutes later,he made it four when he lashed Thompson’s lay off past the diving Crook.

Town never gave up, but it was the visitors who were calling the tune.

Crook pulled out a magnificent save to turn sub Liam Hardy’s powerful drive round the post and Philip Turnbull shot at Crook from fully thirty-five yards.

However,it was Town sub, Chib Chilaka,who almost gave the Town faithful something to cheer,when deep into stoppage time,his long range drive flashed inches wide of the upright.
1 Crook, 2 Colbeck, 3 Turner,4 Platt,5 Ainge,6 Ellis (c),7 Brooksby (Leesley 51), 8 Thanoj, 9 Day (Chilaka 51), 10 Burrell, 11 Webb-Foster (Purkiss 63).
Unused subs,16 Gascoigne,18 Elliott Sending off Ellis, Bookings nil, Att.2172
Scorer,Webb-Foster 32. Town Man of the Match,Joe Colbeck.
By John Harrison.

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