Football: Harrogate Town 2-1 Solihull Moors

Goalscorer: Ashley Worsfold hit Town's winner
Goalscorer: Ashley Worsfold hit Town's winner

Simon Weaver earned only his second win over Solihull Moors as a manager as Harrogate Town bolstered their play-off tilt on Saturday.

Chris Hall and Ashley Worsfold’s first half goals helped dominant Town past the promotion chasing Midlanders 2-1 at the CNG Stadium.

Hall tucked into Dom Rowe’s pass after just two minutes before Ryan Beswick squared matters from the spot midway through the first period.

Worsfold then kept his nerve, and footing, to slot in the winner seven minutes shy of half-time.

With defeats for Skrill North promotion rivals Hednesford, Boston United and Brackley, the victory moved the Sulphurites up two places into sixth.

“I was delighted with the lads from start to finish,” said Weaver.

“The efforts from the lads were awesome. We started with such an intensity.

“Although we conceded a sloppy goal, we bounced back in fine style and we thoroughly deserved the three points.”

Captain Shane Killock’s groin injury forced Weaver to change his backline from Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Colwyn Bay.

Leigh Franks was promoted to the starting line-up and star midfielder Michael Woods also made his long-awaited return to the Town squad on the bench.

Sat in fourth-placed before the contest, Solihull were dealt a blow in the lead up to the clash as key striker Omar Bogle, who had scored five goals in the previous two clashes between the sides, was ruled out injured.

Solihull have held a stranglehold on Weaver’s side since he took over the club in 2010, winning six of their last 10 meetings, and drawing three.

But Town soon put that record to one side. For the second Saturday running, they were ahead inside two minutes.

Electric pace from Dom Rowe pounced on Solihull left-wing back Jordan Gough’s slip and, at the second attempt, his cross landed perfectly in Hall’s path for the forward to continue his fine scoring run with a clean finish.

It was the targetman’s 11th goal of the season, and seventh of 2014.

Hall’s striking partner Ashley Worsfold then breached the visiting defence but Moors shot-stopper Jasbir Singh held firm to save for a corner.

Moors came back dangerously and Knights fired a volley straight at teammate Junior English.

Moments later, and Marcus Bignot’s visiting side levelled from the spot.

Anton Brown was penalised for bringing down Knights and Ryan Beswick sent Craig MacGillivray the wrong way from the resultant penalty.

Ashley Worsfold then had a shot cleared off the line before English headed onto the Town crossbar from six yards.

With seven minutes of the first half remaining, Hall and Worsfold set up a brilliant counter-attack to regain the home lead.

Hall suckered in both remaining Solihull Moors defenders in the centre circle and then send his partner away. Advancing into the area, Worsfold cut back onto his right peg, and after staying upright from Rob Elvins’ rash challenge, he coolly slotted past Singh.

Dom Rowe sent in a teasing cross for Town’s first chance of the second period, but Worsfold failed to connect from six yards with the net at his mercy.

Anton Brown, busy in breaking up the play throughout the clash, then pinged a sublime pass out wide for Sellars to twist and turn into the area. However Rowe skewed the chance wide.

Solihull sub Alex Dean unleashed a goalbound drive which lured Franks into an acrobatic block.

With 60 seconds to play, Beswick’s left footed free-kick was tipped over from underneath the crossbar by Town stopper Craig MacGillivray, who had been a peripheral figure for most of the second half.

And despite referee Neil Sharpe playing eight minutes injury-time following a head injury to Worsfold, Town saw the victory out without further alarm.

Read Thursday’s Harrogate Advertiser for analysis, quotes and full match report.

Att: 525

Harrogate Town: Craig MacGillivray, Dwayne Samuels, Dave Merris, Anton Brown, Matt Heath (c), Leigh Franks, Connor Sellars (Craig Nelthorpe), Adam Nowakowski, Chris Hall (Joe Ironside), Ashley Worsfold (Adam Bolder), Dom Rowe. Subs not used: Steve Mallory, Michael Woods

Solihull Moors: Jasbir Singh, Michael Nottingham, Jordan Gough, Jay Denny (Alex Dean), Rob Elvins (c), Stuart Pierpoint, Junior English, Richard Taundry (Dior Angus), Darryl Knights (Reece Fleet), Ryan Beswick, Michael Blackwood. Subs not used: Exodus Geohaghon, Darren Acton.