Five-star Railway shine for new boss

Marlon Adams' tenure as Harrogate Railway boss began with a convincing victory. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Marlon Adams' tenure as Harrogate Railway boss began with a convincing victory. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Marlon Adams’ first game in charge of Harrogate Railway ended in a 5-2 thrashing of the NCEL Premier Division’s bottom side, Clipstone.

Adams was handed the managerial role at Station View last week following the sacking of Liam Gray earlier this month.

And although the Starbeck club’s new boss said he was pleased to get off to a winning start, he is under no illusion about the size of the task ahead of him.

“It was a good result for us, but let’s not beat around the bush, there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Adams said of Saturday’s success.

“There were some positive signs from the players, but also some negative signs defensively. I’m sure that in time we’ll put them right.

“First half we started off slow and looked all at sea, positionally. When we came in at half-time I had a word with them and second half we looked a much better team, more compact and more comfortable attacking and defending.

“I’ve no doubt that we will get out of the relegation zone and move up the table, but it’s about getting on the training pitch and working with the lads and guiding them in the right way.”

Clipstone arrived at Station View without a single point to their name and Railway looked a real threat going forwards from the off.

That said, the first clear opening of the afternoon fell to visiting forward Gareth Curtis, however he was denied by home gloveman James Webster after bursting through on goal following a swift counter-attack.

A fine run down the left by the lively Adam Carter then set up Luke Stewart to poke home what looked like it would be the game’s opening goal, however Railway celebrations were cut short by the raising off the linesman’s flag for offside.

Nathan James went close with a near-post strike that Clipstone’s Gary Doncaster did well to keep out, before Adams’ men did eventually take the lead, and in some style.

There were 24 minutes on the clock when a deep cross from the right was not dealt with by the Clipstone defence and eventually fell to Carter on the edge of the box.

The winger controlled the bouncing ball on his chest before rifling a swerving half-volley past Doncaster’s despairing dive for 1-0.

George Eustance should have doubled the home advantage just seconds before half-time when he was sent clean through, but with just Doncaster to beat he failed to pull the trigger quickly enough and the chance was gone.

That missed opportunity was soon forgotten about as less than a minute after the re-start, Stewart playing James in on goal and the latter keeping his calm and passing the ball into the back of the net.

Railway looked in complete control at 2-0 up and Stewart and Carter both went close to extending the advantage before Clipstone were handed a lifeline with 72 minutes on the clock.

The ball was sent high into the air inside the hosts’ penalty area and a coming together saw the visitors awarded a penalty, Eden Homer making no mistake from the spot.

Four minutes later and any hopes of a late fightback were extinguished when Eustance crossed from the right, Stewart attempted an overhead kick and the ball landed for Carter to apply the finishing touch.

Substitute Elliott Williams then put the result beyond any doubt, charging down Luke Thomas’ attempted clearance of a ball over the top and then coolly lobbing over the stranded Doncaster from outside the area.

Railway switched off at the back moments later and afforded Curtis the chance to pull another goal back for Clipstone, but another subsitute Matt Mulvihill then capped his debut with goal number five, sliding the ball past Doncaster at his near post after beating the offside trap.

Victory moves Adams’ team up one place to 20th in the league table and leaves them just a point from safety with a trip to Garforth Town to come this weekend.