Harrogate Town 2  – 1 AFC Telford

29 January 2018

Yet another four figure crowd at the CNG Stadium, saw Harrogate Town withstand a late Telford rally, to run out 2-1 winners.

Town were unchanged from Tuesday evening’s defeat of Stockport County,apart from Ben Middleton replacing the injured Ryan Fallowfield.

The Bucks were the first to create a chance, however John Marsden’s shot sailed harmlessly over Town’s crossbar after a slight deflection.

Town were not long in replying, but Simon Ainge’s header from a Joe Leesley centre was way over the visitor’s goal.

In a lacklustre first half, in which goalmouth action was at a premium, it took Town twentyfour minutes to work Telford keeper, Ryan Schofield, when he had to stop George Thomson’s long range shot, after Josh Falkingham had found him loose in midfield.

Town, then began to camp in Telford territory and deservedly took the lead after thirtythree minutes when Leesley picked up Thomson’s centre on the left and moved inside to curl in a superb shot into the top corner.

Middleton was providing an extra weapon in Town’s armoury with a series of long throws,one of which found Jack Emmett unmarked,unfortunately for Town he blazed well over the Telford bar.

Early in the second half, Town appeared to make the game safe when Middleton’s shrewd pass sent Emmett clear and he chipped to the far post from the bye line for Simon Ainge to score with a loopng header.

An excellent move involving Dom Knowles, Emmett and Thomson ended with the latter having his shot blocked from close range.

Telford then threw caution to the winds and took the game to Harrogate and sub, Jordan Murphy,headed narrowly wide from an Ellis Deeney corner,while Anthony Dwyer flashed a shot wide of Town’s upright from fully thirtyfive yards.

As the game entered added time,the Bucks pressure finally paid off, when Deeney’s inswinging corner came back off the post and Murphy nodded past James Belshaw from inside the goal area.

This win moved Town to within five points of leaders Salford,who went down to defeat at Brackley.

Town – Belshaw, Middleton, Parker, Falkingham,Kennedy, Burrell, Thomson(Agnew 80), Emmett, Ainge(c)(Beck 65), Knowles(Thewlis 72), Leesley.
Unused subs, Kitching, Cracknell

Bookings nil     Att.1034

Scorers, Leesley 33, Ainge 51.

Town Man of the Match,Falkingham.

AFC Telford – Schofield,White,Wilson,Johnson,Sutton(c),Deeney,Marsden(Cowans 69),Lussey(Leonard 78),Ebanks-Blake(Murphy 53),Dinanga,Dwyer.
Unused subs,Leak,Singh               Bookings,Johnson,Lussey.
Scorer,Murphy 90.

Referee  T Parsons

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