Aldershot Town 1 Harrogate Town 1: James Belshaw laments missed opportunity as title bid is dented

James Belshaw branded Harrogate Town's performance during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Aldershot Town "not good enough."

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 8:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 1:54 pm
Goalkeeper James Belshaw said he was left disappointed by Harrogate Town's performance at Aldershot Town. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The Wetherby Road outfit's failure to come away with maximum points has severely damaged their National League title hopes, leaving them six adrift of leaders Barrow, who also boast a game in hand.

And although Lloyd Kerry's 70th-minute strike from outside the box earned Town a share of the spoils, goalkeeper Belshaw views the result as two points dropped, rather than one gained.

"No, it's not a good point away from home. It is an opportunity missed," he said.

"You might look at it and think 'yeah, we've come back from 1-0 down and got something away from home,' but it's not good enough.

"At this stage of the season and the position we're in in the table, we have to be winning games. We can't afford to play two games and only come away with one point.

"First half, we were miles off it. Conditions were awful, we were dealing with the wind and the sun, but too many players had off days.

"Second half, we've come out and played the game in their half. I didn't touch the ball, I don't think, until the last two or three minutes of the game, but we've had chances and not taken them. So it's disappointing."

Town fell behind a minute before half-time when Warren Burrell was dispossessed and the Shots shifted the ball left for Mo Bettamer to cut inside and fire past Belshaw.

Jack Muldoon had a great opportunity to level matters less than two minutes into the second period, but failed to beat Mitch Walker after being sent clean through on goal.

Will Smith then saw a header from a corner cleared off the goal-line and the recalled Brendan Kiernan had a strike deflected wide before Muldoon teed up Kerry to rifle in an equaliser.

Both sides pressed hard for a decisive goal in the closing stages, Brendan Kiernan and Josh Falkingham going the closest for the visitors, though in the end, the match was to finish all-square.

"We were uncharacteristically sloppy in defence," Belshaw added.

"In midfield, we gave the ball away too many times. Out wide, we didn't really produce enough, and the front two didn't threaten enough. That's an honest assessment.

"They're all great lads but too many players had off days and we've come away with a point which everyone is disappointed with."

Town remain second in the National League standings despite the result, which follows on from a 2-0 home loss to Wrexham in their previous outing.