Harrogate Town 5  – 0 St Albans City

17 January 2018

A superb second half display from Harrogate Town propelled them into the Third Round of The F A Trophy and a home tie against Billericay,on the third of February.

Simon Weaver rang the changes with Joe Cracknell,Ben Parker,Josh Falkingham,Warren Burrell,George Thomson and Dom Knowles returning to the starting line up.

A bright start saw Dean Snedker make a diving save from Simon Ainge after a Joe Leesley cross,while for the visitors,Rhys Murrell-Williamson hit the outside of Town’s upright.

A foul on Knowles presented Leesley with a free kick twentyfive yards out, but his sights were set a little too high,but three minutes later he made amends.

On twelve minutes,another Leesley free kick was met by Burrell who headed past the static Snedker to put Town one up.

Two minutes later,Jack Emmett went close to doubling the score when his shot flashed wide of the post,after he had been set up by the impressive Knowles.

City looked dangerous in attack and twice Solomon Sambou brought saves out of Cracknell,but their speedy approach play was often ruined by a poor final ball.

As the break beckoned,Thomson went narrowly wide from distance,while Sam Merson,ended the half with an header past Town’s upright.

St Albans did well to survive early Town pressure after the break,with Emmett shooting wide and Snedker saving well from Leesley,but on sixtyfour minutes the dam broke.

Ainge collected a Thomson cross on the edge of the area and played in Knowles who curled a low shot just inside Snedker’s right hand post.

Two goals in two minutes put the tie beyond the visitors.

A corner was pulled back to the edge of the area and the unmarked Falkingham’s shot was diverted into the net by Burrell.

Next,Emmett’s centre found Knowles,but his run floundered on the City defence,however, Leesley was on hand to hammer home the loose ball.

The resilient visitors never gave up and they fashioned a couple of late chances with the dangerous Murrell-Williamson shooting at Cracknell and sub Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick skying over the bar.

Deep into stoppage time,Town hammered one last nail in the Saint’s coffin when sub Jordan Thewlis,who had replaced the excellent Knowles,crossed from deep on the right and Thomson sidefooted in at the far post.

Cracknell,Fallowfield,Parker,Falkingham(Agnew 75),Lees,Burrell,Thomson,Emmett,Ainge (Beck 75),Knowles(Thewlis 75),Leesley.
Unused subs,Vann,Kerry       Booked Emmett,Fallowfield        Att 362
Scorers,Burrell 12,72,Knowles 64,Leesley 74,Thomson 90.  Man of the Match  Knowles
St Albans City,
Snedker,Herd,Bender,Noble(Bradbury 67),Gardiner,Kiangebeni,Murrell-Williamson(Hippolyte-Patrick 67),
Sambou,Merson(Walker 61),Monlouis,Lucien.
Unused subs,Eadie,Joseph.                            Booked Bender
Referee P Marsden.
By John Harrison

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