Harrogate Town secured a play-off place with an impressive victory over a resilient Gateshead F C.
For Town,Michael Woods was recalled to the starting line up,to replaced the injured,Jack Emmett.
Lloyd Kerry was the first Town player to threaten the “Heed”goal when he tested,Aynsley Pears with a curling drive from just outside the box.
A misunderstanding in the visiting defence resulted in a short back pass which almost let in Jordan Thewlis,but Pears raced out of his goal to boot the ball clear.
On the half hour the Tynesiders had an excellent opportunity to take the lead when a Steve Riggs centre from the right touchline found Jack Hunter unmarked in front of goal,but he directed his header wide of the far post.
Within minutes,Town made them pay for their profligacy,when Thewlis ran on to a Josh Falkingham through ball,rounded Pears and slotted into the empty net.
Seconds after the half time break,Thewlis again broke clear but his initial touch was too heavy and Pears dived at his feet to claim the ball.Thewlis fell spectacularly over the keeper,but was booked by Referee Simon Mather for diving.
Ten minutes into the half, Town doubled their lead with a goal out of the top drawer.
A superb tackle by Kerry gained possession and he released Thewlis down the left.The speedy striker,skipped over a tackle,made the by-line and centred for Mark Beck to score from a yard out.
Thewlis soon had the ball in the net again when he converted a pass from Woods,only for him to be denied by an offside decision.
The Heed tried to hit back and Belshaw had to tip a Rigg header over his bar,but Town’s goal was in most danger when sub George Thomson,sliced a clearance goalwards,forcing Belshaw to make a vital save.
At the final whistle,the Town players did a lap of honour,to be acclaimed by the large sun drenched crowd, as the curtain came down on the home matches for this season.
We await now with bated breath to see who we will meet in the play-offs.
Harrogate Town 2 Gateshead 0
Town, Belshaw,Fallowfield(Thomson 63),Senior,Falkingham,Howe Burrell,Beck,Thewlis(Muldoon 63),Kerry,Kitching,Woods(Agnew 81)
Unused subs,Cracknell,Knowles Booked Thewlis
Scorers,Thewlis 41,Beck 55 Man of the Match Thewlis
Gateshead, Pears,Tinkler,Barrow,Hunter(Malony 76),Williamson,Thomson(Salkeld 76),Olley,Rigg,Mellish(O’Donnell 89),White,Devitt.
Unused subs, Foden,McGeoch.
Referee Simon Mather. Att.1629 (295 away)
By John Harrison