harrogate town AFC

Harrogate Town 0 – 1 Southend United

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It was another frustrating afternoon at the CNG Stadium as Town went down 1-0 to relegation candidates Southend United.

Simon Weaver made just one change to the starting line up with Warren Burrell replacing Ryan Fallowfield.

After some initial sparring,it was the visitors who threatened first when Ashley Nathaniel-George forced James Belshaw to make a full length save.

Town countered immediately,when George Thomson’s long ball out of defence released Josh McPake down the right and he forced Mark Oxley to block at the near post.

On 20 minutes Emile Acquah was played in by Nathaniel-George,but his weak shot was easily dealt with by Belshaw.

Soon afterwards Town thought that they had taken the lead when Thomson’s free kick after a foul on Josh Falkingham was turned in by Will Smith,only for it be cancelled out by the linesman’s offside flag.

McPake,who was leading the Shrimp’s defence a merry dance,skipped through the middle,only for his effort to be diverted by the outstretched left leg of Oxley.

On 38 minutes,Town had to make an enforced change when Simon Power pulled up with an hamstring injury to be replaced by Brendan Kiernan.

Southend suffered similar misfortune,when on the stroke of half time,skipper John White was injured in a collision with a Town player and took no further part in the match.

Southend almost opened the scoring after 58 minutes when Simeon Akinola got the better of Burrell,but Belshaw saved the day with a vital block.

It appeared that Town were taking control of the game and they were unlucky not to take the lead when good work by McPake and Jack Muldoon ended with Kiernan driving the latter’s centre against the Shrimps crossbar.

Unfortunately,on 68 minutes,Town were caught with a sucker punch,when Alan McCormack broke clear and although Belshaw saved his attempt,Nathaniel-George followed up to net the rebound.

It was a rerun of last week as Town hammered the Shrimp’s defence which held firm and  even survived six minutes stoppage time to take a precious three points in their fight against relegation.

Town,

Belshaw,Burrell,Jones,Smith,Hall,Power(Kiernan 38),Falkingham,Thomson,McPake(Francis 70),Martin(Beck 62),

Muldoon.

Unused subs,Minter,Fallowfield,Williams.

Booked,Hall 87

Southend United,

Oxley,McCormack(Taylor 76)Hobson,.Akinola,Clifford,Acquah,Olayinka(Holmes 70),Nathaniel-George,(Bwomono 90+5),Demetriou,Ferguson,White(Cordner 46).

Unused subs,Seaden,GoodshipMellis.

Scorer,Nathaniel-George (68).

Booked,Demetriou,(38),McCormack(63),Nathaniel-George(90)

Referee,Shaun Hudson

By John Harrison.

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