Harrogate Town 2 – 1 Chorley

6 May 2018

A Dom Knowles goal deep into stoppage time gave Harrogate Town victory over Chorley and earned them a place in next Sunday’s, National League North, play off final.
Town had a brilliant first half hour,playing some exquisite football which delighted the large,sun drenched crowd.Some excellent interpassing between Town’s forwards,presented George Thomson with a third minute chance,but his left foot drive was wide of the upright.
Soon afterwards,Jack Emmett shot at Matt Urwin from just outside the area.
Chorley,then survived a goalmouth scramble as Mark Beck tried to convert a Joe Leesley centre,but the ball fell to Emmett who stabbed it to Knowles,whose shot hit the crossbar.
A Scott Leather foul on Beck brought him a yellow card,but Leesley’s free kick was headed wide by Beck.
As so often happens in this scenario,it was the team under pressure who took the lead.
A Jason Walker shot on the turn flashed past the Town goal,to give the Wetherby Roaders cause for alarm.
Unfortunately,on thirtysix minutes,Josh O’Keefe broke the deadlock after Alex Newby got behind the Town defence and O’Keefe tapped in his centre from close range.
As half time approached the game took a dramatic turn,when Lee Molyneux caught Ryan Fallowfield with a high challenge in front of the dugouts,and Referee Rebecca Welch,consulted with her Assistant Ref,before showing Molyneux a red card.
A run by the visitors,Adam Anson,ended with him dragging his effort wide of Town’s goal,but it was Town who levelled matters on the hour.
A Fallowfield cross was handled on the line and Knowles sent Urwin the wrong way with his powerfully struck spot kick.
With almost his last action in the match,before being replaced by Jake Wright,Leesley cut in from the left before blazing well over the Chorley goal.
A late header by Wright from Thomson’s cross sailed over the Chorley goal, before four minutes of added time were signalled.
With only seconds remaining and extra time beckoning,a Josh Falkingham shot clipped Beck’s heels and diverted to Knowles, who calmly slotted past Urwin to send Town into the play off final,where they will be at home to Brackley Town.
Belshaw,Fallowfield,Parker,Falkingham (c),Burrell,McCombe,Thomson,Emmett,Beck,Knowles,Leesley(Wright 80).
Unused subs,Cracknell,Lees,Agnew,Kerry.
Scorers,Knowles 61pen.90. Bookings nil, Man of the Match, Knowles. Att.2307
Urwin,Challoner,Molyneux,Teague,(c),Leather,Anson(Wilson 68),Newby,O’Keefe,Carver,Walker(Whitham 68),Cottrell.
Unused subs,Gregory,Burgess,Hughes.
Sent off,Molyneux. Booked,Challoner,Leather,Anson,O’Keefe
Referee,R Welch.
By John Harrison.

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