Harrogate Railway 3-1 Norton and Stockton Ancients: Deane caps Railway progression in FA Cup

Captain Danny Stimpson leads Railway's celebrations after one of their three goals (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
Captain Danny Stimpson leads Railway's celebrations after one of their three goals (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Harrogate Railway advanced into the FA Cup's first qualifying round following a comfortable victory over Norton and Stockton Ancients

The impressive Harry Brown gave the Railwaymen a sixth minute lead but Norton pegged the hosts back with the final kick of the first half.

The game was on a knife-edge in the second period until Ryan Sharrocks returned the home lead with a clever lob.

And substitute Brandon Deane settled the scores in the dying minutes to set up a first qualifying round clash at home to Consett.

Railway returned to FA Cup action ten days after seeing off Albion Sports in the extra preliminary round replay.

Lee Ashforth's men started well, passing the ball around with ease, and took an early lead.

Ryan Sharrocks lobs Norton's goalkeeper (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Ryan Sharrocks lobs Norton's goalkeeper (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Good play on Railway’s left saw the ball reach the impressive Harry Brown, who then played a one-two with Dan Barrett before shooting and beating Norton stopper Phillip Pentony.

As the first half progressed, Railway seemingly took their foot off the gas, allowing Norton to get into the game and grow in confidence.

Twice during the first half, the ever-impressive Jake Lofthouse was forced into making impressive saves.

The best of the saves saw Lofthouse dive full length to his right to push James Wilson’s goal-bound shot around the post.

Brandon Deane scores to settle the tie (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Brandon Deane scores to settle the tie (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Having soaked up quite a bit of pressure, Railway could have been excused for thinking that they would be going in at halftime a goal to the good, but that was not to be.

Norton continued pushing forward and were rewarded on 45 minutes when the excellent James Wilson curled a ball into the box and it eluded everyone to nestle just inside the far post.

The second half saw Norton continue to attack, looking to take the fight to Railway.

The game became stretched as the play went from end to end, with the visitors unlucky not to take the lead when confusion in the Railway penalty box and an inability to clear the danger saw a shot thunder off the underside of the Railway bar – when Norton looked certain to score.

Railway responded and Jordan Hendrie went close to re-establishing Rail’s lead.

Then came the decisive moment in the game as Simon Parkes picked up possession on Railway’s right and played a great ball into space for Ryan Sharrocks to run onto.

The winger saw Pentony rushing out to the edge of his box and calmly lifted the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.

Norton weren’t finished and turned up the heat on the Railway goal, fashioning a number of half-chances to get back on level terms and force a replay.

Railway seemed content to sit back and soak up the pressure, trying to hit The Ancients on the break.

With less than ten minutes left on the clock, there were a couple of goalmouth scrambles, which Railway managed to clear and relieve some of the growing pressure.

It was left until the third minute of injury time before Railway could breathe a sigh of relief.

Brandon Deane who had come on for the industrious Dan Barrett, timed his run perfectly to stay onside. He collected the through-ball and ran in on goal with only Phillip Pentony to beat.

The goalkeeper ran out to try and narrow the angle but Deane coolly slotted home his second in as many games to settle the tie and set up a meeting with Consett at Station View in the next round of the FA Cup in two weeks time.