Harrogate Town returned from an enforced three week lay off,to register an hard fought 3-1 win over lowly Braintree Town.
Harrogate’s midweek signing from Hartlepool,Michael Woods,who was beginning his second spell at Town,was given a place on the subs bench.
The visitors gave Town an early scare when Joe Ellul was left unmarked from a corner,but his header was straight at James Belshaw.
Town were finding it hard to create clear cut chances against the packed Braintree defence,although a Joe Leesley corner led to a bout of head tennis before the “Iron” managed to clear.
Unfortunately,on twentyfive minutes,the Iron took the lead,when Justin Amaluzor cut in from the right and lashed a left foot drive into the roof of the net.
The Wetherby Roaders were finding it hard to shake the ring rust out of their system and both Leesley and Jack Muldoon,shot wide from distance.
Town kept up the pressure with Mark Beck heading a deflected Muldoon centre past the upright,before,soon afterwards,glancing a George Thomson cross wide.
Seconds before the break,Town equalised with a superbly taken goal.
A long ball from Liam Kitching,was chested down by Beck to Josh Falkingham and Muldoon raced on to his through ball to sidefoot past George Legg.
A revitalised Town started the second period on the front foot.
Legg made an excellent block to thwart Muldoon and the sliding Beck just failed to make contact with a Muldoon cross with the goal at his mercy.
On sixtyfour minutes,Town took the lead,when Thomson picked up Muldoon’s pass on the edge of the area and rifled a left foot shot past Legg.
Braintree refused to lie down and Virgil Gomis went close with a low drive and minutes later,Callum Howe had to make a last ditch tackle to prevent Gomis getting his shot away.
A Braintree sub,Jake Cass,fired just past Town’s post,but it was an Harrogate sub,who put the icing on the cake.
Deep into stoppage time,Woods who had replaced Muldoon,got onto the end of a Beck flick on and volleyed into the net from close range,to the delight of the Town faithful.
So Town move up to fourth place and travel to Salford in good heart for their vital clash on Tuesday evening.
Belshaw,Fallowfield,Falkingham,Howe,Burrell,Thomson,Emmett,Beck,Leesley(Kerry 79),Muldoon(Woods 76),Kitching.
Unused subs , Cracknel,Langmead,Williams.
Scorers,Muldoon 44,Thomson 64,Woods 90+3 Booked Leesley.
Braintree, Legg,Muleba,Lyon-Foster,Ellul,Gabriel,Allen(Cass 67),Richards,Ochieng,Amaluzor(Wabo 77),
Unused subs, Nieskens,Sagaf Att.1454
Scorer,Amaluzor 26. Booked Lyons Foster Town,Man of the Match Emmett.
Referee, Simon Mather
By John Harrison