Harrogate Town

Harrogate Town 2  – 1 York City

16 December 2018

Harrogate Town had to come from behind to subdue a resiliant, well organised York City in the Buildbase FA Trophy tie, at a freezing, sleet lashed, CNG Stadium.

Straight from the kick off Town broke down the right wing and Jack Muldoon forced a save from Adam Bartlett at the near post.

Next Joe Leesley  showed the young York full back, Nathan Dyer, a clean pair of heels, before squaring across goal for George Thomson to shoot over the bar.

But it was the Minstermen, with the elements at their backs,who began to dictate.

Firstly, Lewis Hawkins headed Alex Bray’s cross over the bar,and soon afterwards, Hawkins just failed to connect with a Jordan Burrow’s centre at the far post.

However,it was a defensive blunder from Town which gave York a twentyfirst minute lead.

James Belshaw was beaten to the ball on the edge of the area by Bray who advanced to stroke the ball into the empty net.

Luckily for Town,a quality goal from Dom Knowles soon restored parity,when he collected the ball on the edge of the area, held off a challenge, and curled the ball into the far corner of the net.

Leesley twice had chances to increase Town’s lead before the break.On thirtyone minutes he cut inside and bent a shot just past the upright, before skying over the bar from close range after Muldoon had rounded the keeper and centred across goal.

The weather conditions gradually worsened and York had to play the second half into the teeth of driving, freezing rain.

For Town, Thomson and Knowles shot wide from distance,but on sixtysix minutes they scored the decisive goal.

A Thomson corner from the right was headed goalwards by Kelvin Langmead,and Bartlett could only palm the ball out from under his crossbar to Liam Kitching who blasted home from six yards out.

York tried to hit back, and Macauley Longstaff,who had replaced Bray, threatened to score with his first touch,only to be denied by a diving save from Belshaw.

The visitors were pushed back into defence and Warren Burrell tested Bartlett with a spectacular overhead bicycle kick.

For a local derby there was a subdued atmosphere,caused mainly,no doubt,by the horrendous conditions,which tested the resolve of players,officials and spectators alike.

It only remained for Leesley to go close with two efforts in stoppage time and Town were safely into Monday’s draw.

Belshaw, Fallowfield,Falkingham, Burrell, Thomson, Emmett(Woods 68),Leesley, Knowles(Williams 80), Muldoon(Kerry 59), Kitching.

Unused subs, Beck, Cracknell         Man of the Match Knowles
Scorers,Knowles 28,Kitching 66.                Att,1336 (inc 523 away)

York City
Bartlett, Dyer, Ferguson, Digie, Davis, Griffiths, Hawkins(Harris 54), Law(Ironside 85),Burrow,Bray(Longstaff 71),York.
Unused subs,Tait,Parslow.              Booked York
Scorer,Bray 21.
Referee M Dicicco
By John Harrison.

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