Garforth Town 0-1 Harrogate Town: Fans favourite Chib Chilaka haunts Miners again
Harrogate Town continued their winning start to pre-season as NCEL Premier Division Garfrorth Town were beaten 1-0 at the Genix Healthcare Stadium.
Chib Chilaka was again the man to down the West Yorkshire side, after scoring the winning goal for Bradford Park Avenue against The Miners in the County Cup final the season before last.
It could have been more though, as Garforth’s goal frame was struck on no less than four occasions, but the goal tally remained at one as Town recorded a third successive clean sheet.
With the temperature a scorching 27 degrees at kick off, Simon Weaver made eight changes from Saturday’s 3-0 win over Hyde United with Danny Ellis, Andi Thanoj and Joe Leesley the three unchanged.
Town came flying out the blocks and almost took the lead in the sixth minute when Chib Chilaka broke down the right and found Joel Perkiss inside the area, only for the trialist’s volley to come cannoning back off the crossbar.
Garforth soon settled, but couldn’t prevent Thanoj spraying the ball effortlessly around the park, and finding the head of Shiels from a corner that the Town number six headed over.
Louis Swain was the next to almost break the deadlock as the left back powered into the penalty area and shot low towards the far corner only for Paul Hagreen to stretch out a leg and save.
Joe Green was then required to make an equally impressive save just moments later as the trialist ‘keeper reacted quickly to turn Mark Simpson’s snap-shot round the post.
The visitors found an opening goal eight minutes before the break after Andy Gascoigne had twisted and turned inside the Garforth box, but failed to get a shot away, Chib Chilaka picked up the loose ball and beat the keeper.
Gascoigne nearly got himself on the scoresheet just minutes after creating the opener when first the attacking midfielder headed Thanoj’s corner over the bar, before meeting Joe Colbeck’s right wing cross and rattling the crossbar.
Weaver’s men finished the half in confident mood, which was summed up by the impressive Thanoj attempting an audacious chip that almost caught Hagreen off guard.
The same pattern continued after the restart as Leesley saw two efforts blocked by defenders and a well struck half volley beaten away by Hagreen.
Five minutes into the half and the frame of the goal was struck for a third time as Warren Burrell’s back post header bounced back off the post.
On the hour mark, Perkiss couldn’t stretch far enough to connect with Chilaka’s cross as the Town goalscorer played a clever one two on the right wing and delivered into a dangerous area.
Chilaka then should have made it two after connecting with Colbeck’s accurate cross, but couldn’t get the right direction on the header.
Town continued to knock at the NCEL side’s door, but Dominic Knowles’ free kick was off target and, despite looking like it was going in after hitting Tom Platt, Paul Thirlwell’s long range strike was clawed away on the line.
With two minutes to play, Town struck the woodwork for a fourth time as Burrell lined one up from 25 yards and crashed the underside of the bar with a sweet strike.
The score remained at one despite Burrell’s best efforts, with Cleethorpes Town Harrogate’s next opponents on Wednesday night.
Harrogate Town: Green (Crook 62), Colbeck, Swain, Thanoj (Platt 45), Ellis (Ainge 62), Shiels, Burrell, Leesley (Thirlwell 70), Chilaka (Knowles 70), Gascoigne, Perkiss (Robertson 62)
Subs not used: Assenso, Parker, Turner
Goals: Chilaka 37,
Garforth Town: Hagreen, Leach, Simpkins, McCurrough, McCrum, Beaston, Hamilton, Rose, Black, Simpson, Headly