Harrogate Town 2 – 0 Barnet

15 August 2018

Two goals in three minutes midway through the first half, gave Town their first win in the National League, and propelled them into ninth place.
Town made one change to their starting line up, with Joe Leesley replacing Aaron Williams.
A whirlwind start by the hosts saw four good chances go begging inside the first ten minutes.
The Bee’s keeper,Mark Cousins,made an early save from George Thomson at the foot of the post and soon afterwards,Jack Emmett found Thomson clear on the right,but his shot flashed wide of the far post.
Next ,Jack Muldoon tested Cousins with a drive which the keeper tipped over,and then he played in Thomson,who again fired acrolss goal.
Barnet began to claw their way into the game with Cheye Alexander pushing forward to lash a low drive from range past Town’s upright.
Jack Taylor kept up the pressure when he found Shaquille Coulthirst on the left and it took a superb tackle from Warren Burrell to halt his dangerous run.
Within minutes, a looping header from Coulthirst landed onto the roof of Town’s net,but Town’s response was swift and sure.
A brilliant crossfield pass from Leesley found Thomson unmarked on the right and his centre was only half cleared by
Barnet as far as Emmett who promptly curled the ball past Cousins from just outside the area.
It only took three minutes for Town to double their lead after Josh Falkingham’s effort from a Dom Knowles pass was diverted for a corner.
Leesley’s deep inswinger was headed back across the Bee’s goal by Callum Howe and Liam Kitching applied the finishing touch at the far post.
Barnet hit back and James Belshaw made a timely punch away to clear Taylor’s free kick,but Town had a further chance before the break when Kitching headed wide from a Leesley corner.
The first exchanges of the second half saw Muldoon shoot across goal after a clever turn,while at the other end the Bee’s captain,Craig Robson, saw his header bounce off the top of the Town crossbar.
On fiftytwo minutes,Barnet were given a route back into the game when Howe was harshly adjudged to have brought down Byron Harrison inside the area.
Coulthirst stepped up to take the spot kick,but Belshaw dived the right way and pulled off an excellent save to keep his goal intact.
Barnet’s threat began to peter out,although Coulthirst shot well over from a Robson pass and Belshaw had to make a save from a rebound off Muldoon after a lob caused some problems in Town’s box.
Sub Liam Agnew,who had replaced Knowles, managed to dispossess Elliott Johnson on the right and his centre found fellow sub,Williams inside the Barnet area, but under pressure,he could only turn the ball wide of the post.
So, this victory in front of a large midweek crowd, ought to put Town in good heart for Saturday’s long trip to face Aldershot.
Belshaw,Burrell,Kitching,Falkingham(c),Howe,Langmead,Thomson,Emmett,Knowles(Agnew 79),Muldoon(Williams 84),Leesley.
Unused subs,Cracknell,Parker,Kerry.                      Booked Kitching
Scores, Emmett 23,Kitching 26            Att.1381
Cousins,Alexander,Johnson,Robson(c),Adams,Harrison(Walker 69),Coulthirst,Taylor,Kyei(Sparkes 64),Sweeney,Mason-Clark.
Unused subs,Matrevics,Fonguck,Tutonda
Referee,S Lucas.
By John Harrison

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