In pictures: Harrogate Town knocked off the top after '˜frustrating' draw at Tamworth
Harrogate Town were knocked off the top of National League North after being held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Tamworth.
Simon Weaver’s side created but failed to take a number of good chances to win the match in the latter stages, and a 3-2 victory for Salford City over Spennymoor saw the Ammies leap two points ahead at the summit.
The Town boss desribed the afternoon as a “frustrating” one and admitted that he wasn’t sure his players did enough to warrant maximum points.
“If you look at the chances in the last 25 minutes, we could have pulled it off, but whether we deserved it for the overall game, I’m not sure,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll look back at the end of the season and think it’s a crucial point, but we weren’t at our best by any means.
“In the last 25 minutes we dominated the play and kept probing and working hard on the ball to prize them open, but for the first 60 minutes we didn’t reach the levels of performance that we’ve shown throughout this season and it was a frustrating day.”
Town went into Saturday’s fixture on the back of six straight league victories, while by contrast, their hosts were winless in 10 matches and hovering just above the relegation zone.
And in blustery, freezing conditions, it was the visitors who threatened first, Warren Burrell collecting possession from Dom Knowles and charging forward from right-back before dragging wide of the far post.
On his return to his former employers, Harrogate stopper James Belshaw made the first save of a bitterly cold afternoon, keeping out Akwasi Asante’s shot at his near post.
The Lambs then had a chance to take the lead after 23 minutes when a slick passing move saw Joel Kettle released in behind, only for his finish to end up behind for a corner.
George Thomson made Tamworth pay for that miss just three minutes later as his inswinging corner ended up in the back of the home net via the hands of goalkeeper Jack Stevens.
With 11 minutes of the first half remaining, the Lambs did however level the score when Rhys Sharpe’s left-wing delivery was glanced into the bottom corner by the head of Connor Taylor.
Town were forced into making a change towards the end of the half as Ryan Fallowfield replaced Louie Swain and almost made an instant impact as his looping effort clipped the top of the bar.
The introduction of Jake Wright early in the second period coincided with the men from Wetherby Road taking hold of the game as the striker saw his shot blocked moments before Liam Kitching’s header was well held by Stevens.
Wright was almost instrumental in giving Town the lead for a second time on 68 minutes, his hold-up play allowing Jack Emmett to slide the ball under Stevens, only for Joel Kettle to clear off the goal-line.
The visitors continued to apply pressure as Thomson’s powerful strike forced a corner that took Stevens two attempts to clear, the gloveman eventually managing to claw away the danger.
Tamworth did remain a threat at the other end, and Aman Verma’s well-struck shot forced a good save from Belshaw with 13 minutes to play.
Town did all they could to claim a late winner as Liam Kitching went close when heading Joe Leesley’s corner over the bar, but Weaver’s side couldn’t break through and had to settle for a just point.