Harrogate Town 4-0 Lowestoft Town
A mesmeric strike from Brendon Daniels kickstarted Harrogate Town to thrash Lowestoft Town 4-0 in a clinical second half performance at the CNG Stadium.
Following a luckless first half, Town scored four unanswered goals in the second period to strengthen their position inside the play-off zone.
Daniels opened the scoring with a 30-yard wonder strike two minutes after the break before Joe Colbeck powered home a second minutes later.
Substitute Jack Emmett then produced a piece of magic to put Daniels in for his second before capping the second half performance himself late on, after Daniels was denied his hat-trick by the inside of the post.
The second half marked a return to Town’s free-flowing and dangerous best with Daniels’ opener a real contender for goal of the season.
With AFC Fylde dropping two points against Stalybridge Celtic, Town drew within a point of second place in National League North as Lowestoft remain in the bottom three.
Boss Simon Weaver kept his Town line-up identical to the one which just got the better of Stalybridge Celtic 2-1 on Saturday. And once again his side showed plenty of endeavour but returned fruitless from the first half.
The lively Jordan Thewlis almost gave the hosts an ideal start as he stole in behind the Lowestoft back four but his near post strike was saved behind for a first minute corner.
The hosts enjoyed the majority of the early possession but Lowestoft proved dangerous on the counter attack and Lewis Turner had to be smart in clearing Danny Crow’s centre over his own bar.
Moments later, visiting number nine Ryan Jarvis failed to make a strong enough connection from Harry Kyprianou’s cross six yards out.
Town were looking to sweep deliveries into the box at every opportunity but each one lacked the final touch required with Warren Burrell and Brendon Daniels both culpable in front of goal.
A rare mistake from Paul Thirlwell, filling in at centre-back alongside Danny Ellis for a second game running, then allowed Jarvis a clear sight at goal but the striker rushed his effort and blazed wide.
From then until half-time, the play was all with Town’s boots. Burrell lifted over from the edge of the box before Thewlis shot weakly at Ben Killip following a burst of pace behind the Lowestoft defence.
As the interval neared, Daniels almost scored another exquisite free-kick. The former Crewe Alexandra man shaped to cross from the left side and caught Killip out, only to see his dipping effort graze the roof of the net.
But within two minutes of the restart, the winger had his 19th league goal of the campaign, and in trademark spectacular style. Daniels coasted into the midfield and rifled a vicious left-footed strike into the top corner, bundling in off the top corner.
Town had renewed vigour, roared on by a louder support behind the goal, and Lloyd Kerry clipped the top corner of the post from a high cross.
The second arrived in the 52nd minute after a neat piece of play from the energetic Thewlis. The striker beat his man and swept across for Colbeck to drive goalwards and smash home powerfully through Killip at the near post.
Lowestoft’s response came from left-back Joseph Marsdon but after beating Danny Ellis, his curler was easily gathered by Peter Crook.
A serious injury to Lowestoft full-back Harry Barker then suspended Town’s momentum momentarily until two substitutes combined for Daniels’ clinical second.
Paul Clayton’s first involvement found Jack Emmett on the right wing and when all looked lost, the talented youngster somehow beat three men to cross for Daniels’ 20th goal of the season at the back post.
The winger almost repaid the favour to Emmett two minutes later but the substitute could only stab wide at full-stretch.
Emmett did get his goal as the clock approached time added on as Louie Swain’s teasing cross was diverted onto the post by Daniels and the youngster poked home in front of Killip to put a seal on the win.