Harrogate Town 2-2 Curzon Ashton: Five things we learned...

Jack Emmett turns against Curzon Ashton (Photo: Craig Hurle)
Jack Emmett turns against Curzon Ashton (Photo: Craig Hurle)

Harrogate Town dropped two points at home to Curzon Ashton after conceding a penalty at the death on Saturday.

Sports writer Tom Halre considers five things to learn from the occasion.

1. Consistently changeable

If a team concedes late goals, it’s easy to brand them mentally fragile. This cannot be levelled at this particular Town team.

As much as goals at the death have been a feature of Harrogate games this season, they have both profited and suffered from the scoring of them.

Against Worcester City and Bradford Park Avenue, they maintained their levels when the opposition had nothing left to give; encapsulating the chaotic, early nature of a division in which one feature of your team stands out in one game and then is absent without leave in the next.

JP Pittman scores for Harrogate Town (Photo: Craig Hurle)

JP Pittman scores for Harrogate Town (Photo: Craig Hurle)

So far this season, Weaver’s side have been highly erratic down the stretch- that they’ve been able to maintain an unbeaten record despite this inconsistency is a feat in itself.

2. Pittman at the goal-face

Signs are that Jon-Paul Pittman could be the goalscorer Town have been craving for several years

The frontman, who joined from Grimsby Town in the summer, now has five goals in his last five games and netted a poacher’s brace on Saturday.

His first goal he took superbly well with plenty of time to pick his spot, whereas his second was an instinctive flicked finish from a Leesley free-kick.

Pittman led the line well, although Weaver did note his side’s lack of a threat in behind Curzon’s back four with Dominic Knowles close to a return.

3. Leesley does it

When Joe Leesley joined the club from Alfreton Town over the summer, he came to North Yorkshire with expectation to confront.

Town fans, having seen him eviscerate them last season, will have anticipated instant dividends from the England C international and he hasn’t let them down.

His set-piece deliveries are utterly confounding most defences in the sixth tier and against Curzon, his surging runs were one of Harrogate’s chief propellants in a generally lacklustre display.

The 22 year-old is guaranteed to lay on plenty of goals for his team-mates and after opening his account against Nuneaton, don’t bet against him being a regular name on the scoresheet as well.

4. 3G connection faulty

The newly-installed artificial pitch at the CNG Stadium is in theory ideal for the implementation of Weaver’s philosophy which centres on keeping the ball on the ground.

That said, if his side are not on their game then it could easily work against them.

Curzon zipped the ball across the surface, slickened by heavy rain that fell throughout the day, shifting it wide particularly well. They were far more accomplished in possession than their hosts.

The onus is on Town to ensure that the conditions on their home patch don’t become a double-edged sword over the season.

5. No full-backs, no problem

Both of Town’s full-backs were playing out of position on Saturday- but you wouldn’t have known it.

Joe Colbeck and Lewis Turner, operating on the right and left of defence respectively, performed with aplomb in the 2-2 draw.

Colbeck, despite being unable to tie down a place in the starting eleven of late, was justifiably singled out by Simon Weaver for the ‘vitality’ he provided in an attacking sense.

Turner was very steady defensively and as a right footer playing on the left, used his natural angle to cut inside and cause Curzon headaches.