Late goals from Luke Armstrong and Alex Pattison were the difference as Simon Weaver and his Harrogate Town side ran out worthy winners in this evening’s trip to Doncaster.
The goals came with less than ten minutes left to play and ensure Harrogate win the first league meeting between the two sides.
Town boss Simon Weaver named a completely unchanged 18 from Saturday’s draw with Gillingham. Huddersfield Town loanee Danny Grant keeping his place over Alex Pattison who recently returned from a foot injury.
While the hosts made one change to the team from their goalless draw with Stockport last time out. Former Portsmouth man Ben Close replacing Charlie Lakin who dropped to the bench.
It took eight minutes before the first chance of the match was to be had. Luke Molyneux cut inside from the Doncaster right hand side and unleashed a low shot. However, his edge of the box effort was diverted behind by Mark Oxley for a corner which was subsquently cleared.
Simon Weaver’s side quickly responded with a chance of their own as Luke Armstrong’s volley from 12 yards was well tipped behind by Jonathan Mitchell in the Doncaster net.
Molyneux continued to be a thorn in the side of the Town defence as he found luck once more but Oxley once again denied him and Toby Sims was able to clear the rebound.
Moments later Town launched a fast paced counter as Levi Sutton unleashed the advancing Jack Muldoon down the Town right. His low cross found the feet of Kazeem Olaigbe but his powerful effort was saved and the scores remained level.
Patience in possession would pay off for Doncaster on 20 minutes as Kyle Hurst raced round Toby Sims towards the by-line. However, Town’s right-back and Mark Oxley did enough to clear for a corner which came to nothing.
However, as the half went on both sides began to cancel eachother out in their quest to find the opening goal. A vital block from Tom Eastman meant that Oxley remained untested from a long range effort from Harrison Biggins.
The second half got underway with the home side keen to give their supporters something to cheer about. A low cross was from the Doncaster left hand side was cleared for as corner by Sims. The resulting ball into the box found Ben Nelson who rose highest but Oxley was able to hold without any issues.
Simon Weaver’s side had the Doncaster defence scrambling to clear after Olaigbe’s reacted to a loose ball in the Doncaster penalty area. His powerful drive from the edge of the box was palmed out into the danger area. However, no one in the blue of Harrogate could get on the end of the resulting rebound.
Town’s number 10 continued to cause problems as he ran at a retreating Doncaster backline. He was eventually brought down by Close who recieved the first booking of the match for his tackle.
This created a shooting opportunity from the edge of the D. However, Grant’s low effort did not trouble Mitchell who gathered.
With 20 minutes remaining, Biggins found space around 25 yards from goal but his effort was well over and Town were able to regain possession.
Moments later a cutback from Molyneux had the men in red and white queuing up for a chance at goal. However, vital blocks from O’Connor, Falkingham and Foulds prevented any of their efforts from finding the back of the net.
As the sides continued to trade blows, Sutton would be the latest to attempt to break the deadlock. However, his effort whistled narrowly beyond the post.
With ten minutes remaining Town finally got that all important opening goal. Armstrong on hand to bundle home a scrappy rebound after a strong save from Mitchell.
Moments later subsitiute Alex Pattison sent Town two ahead. A clever spell in possession left Town’s number 16 with space on the edge of the area and he rifled his effort into the back of the net.
Doncaster: Mitchell, Brown, Anderson (C), Olowu (Lakin, 72′), Molyneux (T.Miller, 82′), Rowe, Biggins, Nelson, Hurst, Lavery (G.Miller, 67′), Close
Subs unused: Oram, Long, Barlow, Seaman, T.Miller, Lakin
Booked: Close (56′)
Town: Oxley, Falkingham, Grant (Pattison, 75′), Olaigbe, Sims, O’Connor, Sutton, Muldoon (Daly, 80′), Armstrong, Foulds, Eastman
Subs unused: Giles, Mattock, Burrell, Thomson, Folarin
Goals: Armstrong (82′), Pattison (83′)
Referee: David Rock
Attendance: 5,777 (235 away)