Harrogate Town 2  – 2 Leamington FC

A dubious penalty prevented Harrogate taking all three points in their home clash with Leamington,as they sought to put last Saturday’s FA Cup disappointment behind them.

For Town, Jack Vann replaced the injured Ryan Fallowfield and new loan signing from Sunderland, Andrew Nelson, made his Town debut,while Warren Burrell took over the captain’s armband from the suspended, Josh Falkingham.

The visitors were quickly out of the blocks  with Callum Gittings heading a cross from Keiran Dunbar over the bar and James Belshaw had to make a one handed save from a deflection.

Town eventually began to threaten and Jordan Thewlis forced Tony Breeden into a full length save.

However,it was the “Brakes”who drew first blood,when after twentyfour minutes, James Belshaw’s weak punch from a lob into the box fell to Junior English who lashed the ball into Town’s net.

Town retaliated with a Terry Kennedy break ending with a shot wide of the upright and a free kick from George Thomson from the edge of the area curling over the bar.

With ten minutes of the half left Town snatched an equaliser.

Jack Emmett found Thewlis just outside the area and he squared to the onrushing Thomson,who drove a vicious cross shot past Breeden.

Belshaw was called into action to make an excellent save from Kurtis Revan,but the linesman’s flag was already raised after a foul on Burrell.

Just before the hour,Emmett found Leesley unmarked on the left and his teasing cross was headed into his own net by English to put Town into the lead for the first time in the match.

Town then enjoyed a purple patch as the Brakes began to run out of steam.

Burrell headed a Leesley free kick at Breeden,while Leesley himself hit another free kick past the post and a Thewlis flick from Emmett’s centre was cleared off the line.

Unfortunately,Town were pegged back on the hour,when Referee Adam Herczeg awarded a penalty for a dangerous  high kick by Kennedy and Rob Thompson-Brown blasted the spot kick past Belshaw.

Town pushed for a winner with Leesley having a free kick blocked and Nelson shooting well over from Emmett’s pass.

In the final minute,Breeden made a stupendous save to keep out Leesley’s close range shot from Thomson’s centre,but in the same passage of play,Leamington’s Connor Gudger suffered a serious head injury which necessitated a visit to hospital.

Town

Belshaw, Vann, O’Hanlon, Agnew, Kennedy, Burrell (c), Thomson, Emmett, Nelson, Thewlis (Curry 72), Leesley.
Unused subs, Middleton, Cracknell, Burdett, Gooda   Man of the Match O’Hanlon
Scorers, Thomson 35,English O G 58

Leamington

Breeden (c), Mace, Gudger(Bishop 90), Clarke(Taundry 39), Hood English, Dunbar, Gittings(Canavan 68),
Revan, Edwards, Thompson-Brown.

Unused subs, Moore,Hill.

Booked Breeden,Edwards,Canavan
Scorers,English 24,Thompson-Brown 69 pen.

Att 1021

By John Harrison.

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