Harrogate Town 2-1 York City: Positive signs for Weaver as lively Town take North Yorkshire spoils

Jordan Robertson scored his sixth goal in six pre-season games (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
Jordan Robertson scored his sixth goal in six pre-season games (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Goal machine Jordan Robertson scored a sixth goal of pre-season as Harrogate Town took the North Yorkshire derby spoils against higher league York City.

York went ahead with their first opportunity when Reece Thompson stole in behind the Town back before and finished with aplomb.

Robertson found an equaliser within four minutes as headed down Dom Knowles' cross.

And Town turned the clash around when Andi Thanoj found the bottom corner with a exquisite free-kick in the second half.

Town continue to hold a perfect record in pre-season however this was their first real test against a York side relegated into the National League Premier at the end of last season.

The match was originally scheduled as the official opening of the 3G pitch at the CNG Stadium but that had been overshadowed by the quickly arranged Hyde United friendly from two weeks ago.

Simon Weaver opted to use a diamond formation in making five changes from Saturday's 8-0 rout of local rivals Harrogate Railway with Knowles partnering Robertson, who was confirmed as Town's eighth summer signing yesterday, up front.

Town looked the more comfortable on the artificial turf in the early stages although neither side could really fashion an opportunity in the first 20 minutes.

Andy Gascoigne failed to divert the best of the openings from a Louie Swain cross, after Andi Thanoj had cleverly spread the play.

But it was the visitors that took the lead when Richard Brodie, who had been involved in a brief spat with Swain just before, found space to slot Thompson behind the Town back four and the striker found a cool finish at the near post.

The goal only spurred Town on, however, and moments after Lloyd Kerry had seen a shot blocked, Knowles marauded down the right and stood a neat cross up for Robertson to head in an equaliser.

Knowles could have turned the game completely on its head two minutes later but his shot from distance squirmed wide after a good advantage from the referee Matt Sowerby.

The match continued to be played with the true intensity of a North Yorkshire derby and Louie Swain, Luke Shiels and Tom Platt all found themselves in Sowerby's book before the break - as did fiery York striker Richard Brodie.

The second half started much in the same way as the first with Town in the ascendancy of possession.

And a well-worked moved down the right flank found Gascoigne outside the box and his curler just missed the target.

Andi Thanoj then showed why he had been given the responsibility to follow in Brendon Daniels' footsteps from set-pieces as he found the angle of the woodwork from 30 yards.

Another neat move saw Lewis Turner skip past two players and pick out Tom Platt at the back post, and his bullet header went narrowly wide.

Minutes later, Albanian Under 21 international Thanoj had a second opportunity from a dead ball situation and he bent the ball into the bottom corner, leaving York keeper Luke Simpson with no chance and putting Town ahead.

York were found to be off the pace as the pre-season substitutions took full hold and Town could have extended their advantage when Gascoigne prodded substitute Joe Leesley's free-kick delivery wide with the goal gaping.

The visitors finally gained a foothold in proceedings as Weaver rotated Thanoj, Kerry, Knowles, Robertson and former York man Platt.

However it was Town that could have scored again as Chib Chilaka smashed the post from a tight angle and fellow replacement JP Pittman squirmed the follow up wide.

Luke Shiels then had a bullet header turned away from another set-piece in the final action of an encouraging performance from the home side.

Harrogate Town: Crook, Turner (Colbeck 85), Swain, Thanoj, Ainge, Shiels, Kerry (Burrell 77), Platt (Leesley 68), Robertson (Pittman 69), Gascoigne (Emmett 77), Knowles (Chilaka 69)

Subs not used: Purkiss, Ellis

Goals: Robertson 25, Thanoj 61

Booked: Swain, Shiels, Platt

York City: Simpson, Walton, Clarke, Fry (??? 68), Higgins (Brettell 38), Nti, Brodie (Kennedy 45), Galbraith, Felix (Warlie 73), Dixon, Thompson

Subs not used: Wilton, Trainter, Fielding, Freer

Goals: Thompson 21

Booked: Brodie

Referee: Matt Sowerby

Attendance: 761