Railway will continue to attack despite last-gasp Recreation loss

Sam Denton got forward from defence to notch a brace for Harrogate Railway in their home defeat to Athersley. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Sam Denton got forward from defence to notch a brace for Harrogate Railway in their home defeat to Athersley. Picture: Caught Light Photography
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Harrogate Railway boss Paul Beesley insists that his team will continue to play an attacking brand of football despite Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Athersley Recreation.

The Locomotives have been involved in a number of high-scoring games in recent weeks, their last seven NCEL Premier Division outings featuring a whopping 43 goals.

And although they were hit by a 90th-minute sucker punch from Athersley as they pressed forward in search of a winning goal at Station View, Beesley says he has no intention of adopting more conservative tactics.

“I’m a striker, and the way I want my team to play is to go out and attack, create chances and pose a real threat to the opposition. I’m not one for sitting back on a lead and inviting pressure,” he told the Harrogate Advertiser.

“I’m keen to play entertaining football and I can’t imagine setting up to win a game 1-0. It’s my belief that, at this level of football, you simply have to outscore the other team.

“I know that sounds like stating the obvious, but we are a better side on the front foot, and I believe that if we can score three or more - which we have done in our previous three games - then that should be enough to see us come out on top.

“I’m confident that we will win more than we lose playing this way.”

Although Beesley concedes that Railway’s approach was “a bit gung-ho” against Athersley, he feels that his team’s inability to defend set pieces ultimately proved their downfall.

“We kept pushing forward at 3-2 up and also at 3-3, we maybe could have settled for a point, but we wanted all three,”he continued.

“It was possibly a bit gung-ho at times, but we looked like we could go on and win the game.

“The thing that really cost us was gifting them two early goals through not defending corners properly.

“This is one thing we really do need to work on because we are conceding too many goals from set-plays.”

The Locomotives got off to a poor start, falling behind to a Kai Hancock header from a corner kick with just eight minutes on the clock.

Beesley levelled things up four minutes later when he turned and fired in following a home corner, but Lee Garside restored the visitors’ lead soon afterwards.

Sam Denton netted Rail’s second equaliser from the penalty spot after Beesley was felled by the visiting goalkeeper, and the sides went into the interval with the scores tied at 2-2.

Denton then got forward from centre-half to bag his second of the afternoon and put the hosts ahead for the first time in the contest 55 with minutes played.

Railway looked to kill the game off but it was Rec who struck next when skipper Ryan White burst through the middle of their defence and finished well.

With 25 minutes remaining, both sides went for the win, but following a sustained spell of Locomotives pressure, the away team countered and Hancock struck again to snatch victory in stoppage time.