Football: Away day joy for Town but Railway felled at home

100813   Adam Bolder of Harrogate Town chases  Dan Thirkell of  Harrogate Railway.
100813 Adam Bolder of Harrogate Town chases Dan Thirkell of Harrogate Railway.

An Ashley Worsfold double sealed Harrogate Town’s first points of the Skrill North campaign away at Oxford City on Saturday.

Town were 2-0 up after his brace, but conceded a sloppy goal just before the break.

However, they held on to their advantage throughout the second half to win 2-1.

Knaresborough Town drew 2-2 at home to Cleethorpes, while Tadcaster Albion face an FA Cup replay after drawing 0-0 at Bishop Auckland on Friday night.

Ripon City got off to a superb start in the West Yorkshire League Premier, beating East End Park 4-1 away.

Reigning champions Bardsey, who were missing a host of key players through suspension, won 3-0 at Otley Town.

Boroughbridge drew 3-3 with Horbury Town, while Wetherby Athletic lost 3-0 at home to Oxenhope Rec.

Harrogate Railway were crushed by a late opposition winner on Saturday, in their first EvoStik North match of the season at Station View.

Billy Miller’s troops were beaten 1-0 at home to Salford City, in a contest where a draw genuinely would have been a fair result.

Not a classic by any means, neither side shone in a gusty, rainswept encounter at Station View.

Railway, this year bolstered by Harrogate Town recruits Craig Radcliffe and Rob Youhill, and temporary on-loan striker Paul Beesley struggled for fluency against the wind at times, resorting to long punts upfield and their set pieces lacked genuine threat.

But there were positives to take.

Goalkeeper Peter Crook - formerly of Scunthorpe United and signed on a dual registration with Town - was impressive between the sticks, Paddy McGuire’s second half introduction added much needed impetus while Beesley and Youhill look like forging a decent partnership for as long as Beesley remains.

Salford were probably the more fluent team in the first half.

Midfielder Michael Gill showed pace and an alarming ability to turn on a sixpence in the opening minutes, going close with a free header after left back Alex Mortimer and winger Stuart Cook played a one-two into the box.

Gill then set up Aaron Swift for a shot blasted over the bar, thankfully neither opportunity testing Crook.

Railway had their moments, left back Radcliffe powering down the flank before delivering a pinpoint cross into the box, which Beesley fired wide.

Youhill and winger Colin Hunter attempted an identical move but Salford ‘keeper Kieran O’Boyle forced Hunter’s shot out for a corner.

A foul by defender Otis Gorman on Rail’ striker Jesus Martin-Farina after 19 minutes gifted Railway a free kick, a profligate Hunter directing it yards over the bar.

Salford won a free kick shortly after, but Crook dealt admirably with Stuart Cook’s accurate ball.

A foul by Railway’s Nathan Cartman on Nathan Bond ended in a bit of argy-bargy but Salford had earned a free kick.

Swift’s set piece failed to achieve much but from a rebound striker Nehru McKenzie went closer as his shot only just edged above the bar.

Just before the break, Railway worked their way back upfield and Martin-Farina found space in the box to deliver a cracking centre palmed away by O’Boyle.

Although City also had a Danny Browne header denied by Crook, there wasn’t much daylight between the sides and Railway were starting to look more fluent by half-time.

They set their stall out immediately in the second hal.

Beesley won the ball on the right, before cutting inside, and passing to Martin-Farina, who had a glorious chance to make it 1-0 only to head it to the ‘keeper.

The striker, Beesley and Youhill were really testing City now, Beesley a constant threat whenever he had the ball.

Cartman was then put through clear on goal only to be flagged for offside.

He then won a free kick which came to nothing, but the ball was knocked out wide and good work between John Maloney and Youhill took Railway within inches of a goal.

Playing a one-two into the box from the right, Maloney then unleashed a thunderbolt which hit Swift and O’Boyle somehow managed to keep out.

Hunter and Martin-Farina made way for McGuire and Greg Kidd with 20 minutes to go and Railway continued to push.

Another Beesley shot was too high, and McGuire fired over the bar after a throw-in.

Then, with eight minutes to go, came the hammer blow.

Salford had worked the ball back upfield, and sub Wes Bancroft, who Crook had denied only five minutes earlier, won possession out on the right.

Powering towards the Railway goal, he looked up and delivered an exquisite chip over Crook which dropped into the net.

It was a cruel twist for Railway in a game where nil-nil would have been an honest reflection of the afternoon.

They had a few more chances, Cartman firing a poor free kick directly into O’Boyle’s arms, before a deft bit of footwork saw Youhill flick a cross into the box. Si Parkes was desperately close to connecting with it but the whistle had gone.

Teams

Railway: Peter Crook, Simon Wood, Craig Radcliffe, Danny Thirkell, Jon Maloney, Si Parkes, Rob Youhill, Nathan Cartman, Jesus Martin-Farina (Paddy McGuire 70), Paul Beesley, Colin Hunter (Greg Kidd 70); Subs not used Tim Curtis, Michael Morris, Lee Ashforth.

Salford City: Kieran O’Boyle, Lee Hodgkinson, Alex Mortimer, Aaron Swift, Otis Gorman, Aaron Walter, Michael Gill, Nathan Bond (Wes Bancroft 67), Danny Browne, Nehru McKenzie, Stuart Cook; Sub not used Joshua Walsh.