Town denied by Barrow despite stunning fightback

Simon Ainge netted Harrogate Town's first goal in their FA Trophy draw with Barrow. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Simon Ainge netted Harrogate Town's first goal in their FA Trophy draw with Barrow. Picture: Caught Light Photography
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Harrogate Town were denied a place in the second round of the FA Trophy after conceding an 89th-minute goal in their home clash with Barrow.

Simon Weaver’s men fought back from two goals down to take a 3-2 lead against the Conference National high-flyers, who are unbeaten since August.

But Ritchie Bennett struck with just a minute of normal time remaining, setting up a replay at the Cumbrians’ Holker Street base.

A disastrous start saw the hosts fall 2-0 behind inside the opening eight minutes as Jordan Williams and Bennett both claimed early goals.

Town skipper Simon Ainge halved the deficit with a trademark header from Joe Leesley’s corner just before the half-hour-mark.

Leesley then found an equalising goal moments before the break as the winger collected Joe Colbeck’s pass, engineered a bit of space and fired into the bottom corner.

The turnaround was then completed by JP Pittman in the 61st minute as the striker followed up his own saved penalty to put the home team into the lead.

With Town down to 10 men following a straight red card for right-back Lewis Turner in the 77th minute, Barrow threw everything at their hosts and eventually found the goal that kept their long unbeaten streak alive when Bennett netted again.