Harrogate Town 1 – 1 Bradford Park Avenue

For the second time this season, Town were held to a home draw by Bradford Park Avenue.

Town welcomed back Ryan Fallowfield from injury and Josh Falkingham also returned to the line up after suspension.

After only three minutes,Town were given a golden opportunity to take the lead, when Ryan Toulson brought down Andrew Nelson inside the area and Referee Dean Watson,had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

Unfortunately for Town, keeper Ed Hall picked the right way to dive and kept out Joe Leesley’s spot kick with the aid of the post.

For Toulson, the evening got a whole lot worse,when after ten minutes, he suffered a leg injury which saw him stretchered from the field, to take no further part in proceedings.

Avenue’s, Adam Boyes found Mark Ross on the right, but Terry Kennedy cleared his dangerous cross,before Kennedy himself pushed forward to have header from a Leesley centre blocked on the Avenue line.
The visitors survived a series of Town corners by the skin of their teeth,but on twentynine minutes,Town found the net.

A superb through ball from Warren Burrell found Liam Agnew in the Avenue area and he held the ball up before finding,Jack Emmett, who drove the ball  into the far corner of the goal.
Bradford hit back with a vengeance,and a smart turn and shot from Oli Johnson was brilliantly blocked at the near post by James Belshaw.

Ed Hall had to be alert when he had  to race of his line to beat Emmett to a long through ball,but Avenue’s Ross tested Belshaw with a twenty yard drive,before Jamie Spencer rattled Town’s crossbar with a long range piledriver which left Belshaw a helpless spectator.

The half ended with visiting skipper,Nicky Wroe,skimming a free kick across Town’s goalmouth,which luckily for Town,found no takers.

James Knowles found himself in the ref’s notebook after clattering  Nelson,but George Thomson’s free kick from the foul was deflected for a corner.

Once again,Town conceded early in the second half,when after fifty minutes,Adam Boyes headed in a right wing cross from sub,Nicky Clee.

Town pushed hard for the winner which would have seen them open up a four point gap at the top of the table.

An Emmett break provided a chance for Nelson but he shot across goal,and in general,Town tended to over elaborate in front of goal and BPA were always able to clear the danger.

Jordan Thewlis replaced Thomson for the last seventeen minutes and his first touch was a magnificent lay off to Nelson who delayed his shot and the chance was lost.

Once again,Emmett,who was awarded,Man of the Match,created a gilt edged opportunity to seal the game when he rounded the defence and crossed,only for Thewlis to scoop over from virtually under the crossbar.

As the game entered stoppage time,it looked as though Avenue might snatch a dramatic last gasp win when Boyes broke through,only to be denied by a brilliant last ditch block by Fallowfield.

The last action saw Knowles head the resulting corner wide of the post,so Town travel to Alfreton on Saturday still sitting at the head of the table with  a two point lead.

Town,Belshaw,Fallowfield,O’Hanlon,Falkingham (c),Kennedy,Burrell,Thomson (Thewlis 73),Emmett,Nelson,Agnew,Leesley.
Unused subs,Vann,Cracknell,Middleton,Curry.      Booked O’Hanlon  Man of the Match Emmett
Scorer,Emmett 29.
Bradford P A , Hall,Ross,Kelly,Wroe (c),Havern,Toulson (Knowles 10),Vidal (Clee 45),Danny Boshell,Boyes,Johnson,Spencer(Nicky Boshell 86).
Unused subs,Nowakowski,Hill.        Bookings Knowles,Spencer.      Att.745
Scorer,Boyes 50.                  Ref D Watson
By John Harrison.

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