Jules Gabbiadini made an instant impression on his Harrogate Railway debut, helping the Locomotives to a 3-2 success on the road at Maltby Main.
The striker, who is the son of former Sunderland attacker Marco Gabbiadini and a product of Hull City’s youth academy, opened the scoring in Tuesday’s NCEL Premier Division clash after 23 minutes and also had a hand in the visitors second goal just five minutes later.
Railway had to weather an early storm as the home side put them under considerable pressure during the first 10 minutes, but they took the lead when their new number nine glanced Chris Ovington’s cross into the top corner of the net.
Gabbiadini caused the Maltby back four plenty of problems during the first half and played a key role in Paul Beesley’s team doubling their advantage just before the half-hour mark.
Advancing on the home goal, the former Pickering Town man was challenged by Craig Mitchell before he could pull the trigger, but the defender’s intervention only served to divert the ball past his own keeper.
Maltby pulled one back in the 36th minute when Dean Smith played in Sheffield United loanee Keegan Burton whose shot beat the advancing Railway stopper and trickled over the line.
The Locomotives’ two-goal cushion was restored before half-time, however, as skipper Sam Denton headed home Ovington’s stoppage-time free-kick.
Rail were good value for their lead at the interval, but were up against it in the second period as Maltby pushed hard for a way back into the match.
The hosts felt that they should have had a penalty after an hour when Burton was felled in the box and they then struck the post soon afterwards.
They did eventually reduced the arrears with 10 minutes remaining, Smith prodding into the net after Burton’s cross-shot had been saved.
Ovington was then dismissed for a second bookable offence leaving his side to see out the closing stages with just 10 men, but despite more Maltby pressure, the visitors did manage to see the game out and claim their first away victory since late October.