harrogate town AFC

Cheltenham Town 4 – 1 Harrogate Town

8 May 2021

Harrogate Town went down to a 4-1 defeat at Whaddon Road,Cheltenham,as their hosts secured the League 2 title.

With a much changed team in which Jonathan Stead was made captain for his 700th appearance,Town made a lively start.

In the first minute,Jack Muldoon played in Brendan Kiernan who found Stead in front of goal,but his effort was blocked.

But it took Town only 7 minutes to break the Robin’s defenced when Mitch Robert’s cross was hooked back across goal by Stead and Muldoon beat keeper,Josh Griffiths with a downward header.

William Hondermarck had a shot blocked from the edge of the area,while at the other end a slip by Will Smith let in Alfie May,but Joe Cracknell managed to block his effort.

Unfortunately,on 11 minutes,the Robins equalised when a low drive from Liam Sercombe slipped through Cracknell’s grasp on the greasy surface.

The play began to flow from end to end and Stead shot over the bar from Hondermarck’s pass,while Matty Blair headed wide of Cracknell’s post.

However,it was the Champion’s elect who scored next when after a goalmouth scramble,Sam Smith got the final touch.

The Robin’s then stretched their lead on 34 minutes when May forced the ball home after it had rebounded off Town’s upright.

Town tried hard to redress the balance and Ed Francis found Kiernan whose 25 yard drive hit the crossbar,before ricocheting on to Griffith’s back and bouncing behind for a corner

Cheltenham’s,Matty Blair,almost did Town a favour when his back header forced Griffith to make a desperate save to prevent an own goal.

Just after the break,Muldoon had to clear off Town’s line,but on 56 minutes,Callum Wright’s cross shot into the far corner,sealed the victory for the Robins.

On the hour,Simon Weaver made four substitution’s in an effort to steady the ship.Lloyd Kerry,

JoshFalkingham,Warren Burrell and Conor Hall replaced Hondermarck,Lokko,Roberts and Francis.

On 83 minutes Stead was replaced by Josh Andrews and he was applauded off the field by both sets of players on his expected retirement.

So Town’s season ends with them finishing a creditable 17th position in League 2 and 2020 F A Trophy winners.

Cheltenham Town,

Griffiths,Long,Hussey,Tozer,Raglan,Thomas,Smith(Williams 77),May(Lloyd 77),Blair,Wright(Azzaz83),Sercombe.

Unused subs,Flinder,Freestone,Chapman,Vassilev

Scorers,Sercombe 11,Smith 22,May 32,Wright 56.

Harrogate Town,

Cracknell,Fallowfield,Smith,Lokko (Hall60),Robert(Burrell 60),Thomson,Francis(Falkingham 60),Hondermarck (Kerry 60),Stead(Andrews 83),Muldoon,Kiernan.

Unused sub,Belshaw.

Scorer,Muldoon 7.

Referee Ben Speedie,

By John Harrison.

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