Hartlepool United 2  – 2 Harrogate Town

8 August 2018

Harrogate Town twice came from behind to gain a point in a pulsating game at the splendid Victoria Park,Hartlepool.
There was one change in the Wetherby Roader’s line up,with Kelvin Langmead replacing the injured Ryan Fallowfield.In a frenetic opening spell,Town were the first to threaten,when George Thomson’s shot from the edge of the area flashed over the Pool’s  bar.

Callum Howe managed to head Niko Muir’s dangerous drive for a corner,which home skipper,Andrew Davies,headed well wide.

Pools began to show their attacking prowess with Nicky Featherstone finding Carl Magnay,whose low shot from distance forced a diving save at the far post  from James Belshaw.Belshaw,then pulled out fine saves from Jake Cassidy and Luke James,while at the other end,Pool’s custodian,Scott Loach, had to make a vital save from Thomson,after they failed to deal with a Town corner.

An even first half, in which Town played some delightful,creative football,ended with Loach blocking Jack Muldoon’s twenty yarder and then scooping the ball away to deny the onrushing Aaron Williams.

Hartlepool opened the second half with a serious assault on the Town goal, and it was no surprise when Liam Noble broke down the right and crossed for Muir to head in from close range.

However,Town are nothing if not resilient, and they drew level seven minutes later when Dom Knowles turned in Josh Falkingham’s low centre at the far post.
Harrogate began to take the game to Pools and a penetrative run from Jack Emmett ended with a strike at Loach.
Next,the excellent Knowles found Muldoon on the edge of the box,but his shot on the turn sailed into the Town supporters populating the terrace behind the goal.
A brief lack of concentration,then cost Town dear as a quick ball down the right found Cassidy in space and he cut inside to hammer the ball past Belshaw.
Joe Leesley,who had replaced Muldoon,provided a series of crosses as the visitors strove for a second equaliser,and in the final minute of normal time their persistence paid off.
Pool’s sub,Conor Newton,committed a foul to the right of the area and Leesley’s pinpoint free kick to the far post was brilliantly headed in by Callum Howe to send Town’s 187 travelling fans into raptures.
On the showing of the first two games,Town look well capable of making quite an impression in the National League.

Belshaw,Falkingham(c),Howe,Burrell,Thomson,Emmett,Knowles,Langmead,Williams,Muldoon(Leesley 75),Kitching.
Unused subs,Parker,Cracknell,Agnew,Kerry.
Scorers,Knowles 60,Howe 90.
Hartlepool United,
Loach,Magnay,Davies(c),Kioso,Donaldson,Featherstone(McLaughlin 67),Noble,Kitching,Muir(Newton 86),James,Cassidy.
Unused subs,Woods,Anderson,Dinanga         Att.3623 (187 away)
RefereeJ Johnson
By John Harrison

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