Town frustrated by basement boys

Harrogate Town drew 0-0 at Altrincham. Picture: Town Pix
Harrogate Town drew 0-0 at Altrincham. Picture: Town Pix
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Harrogate Town were left frustrated after being held to a goalless draw by National League North’s bottom side, Altrincham.

In a contest of few chances, the best opening fell to Luke Shiels 15 minutes before time, only for home gloveman Tim Deasy to keep out the centre-back’s header with his feet.

Reflecting on his team’s display, boss Simon Weaver said: “I thought we were 15-20 per cent short of energy of where we’ve been the last couple of games.

“It was a slippery game with everything to lose. Perhaps external factors got in some players’ mindsets - the pitch, the atmosphere was flat, there was no one here and I thought that, in a negative way, affected us in the first half.

“I had a word at half-time and said ‘come on, we’re here to win the game’. We showed more energy second half, but just lacked in the final third.

“You lift your own expectations when you’ve won the last two 3-0, but I’d have taken a 1-0, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

Weaver named the same starting XI that had recorded back-to-back 3-0 wins at Boston United and at home to Worcester City.

The contest started slowly and was not helped by a lengthy stoppage as both Town’s Simon Ainge and Altrincham’s Simon Richman received treatment for head injuries inside the first 10 minutes.

The only shot in the opening half an hour came when Kyle Brownhill’s speculative volley flew wide of the post.

Another nasty looking injury, this time to Peter Crook, forced the visiting stopper into being replaced by Chris Ellott before four minutes of added-time was signalled.

It was in that additional period that Town’s best moment of the half arrived as Danny Ellis struck a sweet left-footed volley from 30 yards that forced Deasy into a fine save.

Town went close to edging ahead before the hour-mark as Deasy parried Joe Leesley’s free-kick into the path of Lewis Turner, who then struck agonisingly across the face of goal.

Warren Burrell was next to go close as his athletic overhead-kick from Ainge’s knock down flew a fraction over the bar.

The Robins soon reminded Town of the threat they posed though, as Micah Evans turned sharply inside the visitors’ box before firing over.

Weaver’s team’s best chance of the afternoon then fell to Shiels with 15 minutes to go as the defender headed Leesley’s free-kick goalwards, but Deasy used his feet to scramble clear.

Despite throwing men forward in the closing stages, Town could not find a way through and were made to settle for a point.

The result sees the men from the CNG Stadium lose ground on the play-off positions, leaving them eight points shy of fifth place.