Harrogate Railway relegated despite victory over Staveley Miners Welfare

Aaron Kitao netted Harrogate Railway's winner at Staveley Miners Welfare. Picture: Gerard Binks
Aaron Kitao netted Harrogate Railway's winner at Staveley Miners Welfare. Picture: Gerard Binks

A fine 2-1 win over Staveley Miners Welfare on the final day of the season wasn't quite enough to save Harrogate Railway from relegation from the NCEL Premier Division.

The Starbeck club went into the last round of fixtures bottom of the pile, but still within a chance of survival.

And they did their bit, seeing off seventh-placed Staveley away from home, however a 2-1 success for Goole over Hall Road Rangers condemned the men from Station View to the drop.

Albert Ibrahimi side-footed Railway in front from Lewis Riley's 11th-minute cross, and the visitors remained ahead until just after the hour-mark when Steve Carty headed home an equaliser.

Undeterred, the Rail showed great character to re-claim the lead after 75 minutes as Aaron Kitao drilled a superb effort past Trojans goalkeeper Myles Wright and into the net via a post.

And that goal would have been sufficient to keep them up had Hall Road managed to grab a late equaliser against Goole, but salvation was not forthcoming on this occasion.

Railway, who have endured five years of struggle on and off the pitch, should have been playing their football in NCEL Division One this season after finishing in the bottom two last term, however they were reprieved after Rainworth resigned from the league.

The campaign prior to that, 2016/17, saw them narrowly avoid demotion having come down from Evo-Stik Division One North in 2015/16.