Harrogate Railway 2-1 Prescot Cables
Harrogate Railway kept their faint survival hopes alive with a come from behind win against Prescot Cables on Monday night.
Nathan Curtis and Charlie Clamp struck within the space of four second half minutes to overturn a half time deficit and maintain an air of hope around Station View.
The win moves Railway five points from safety, but it was not straight forward as Rob Doran notched his 24th goal of the season after just three minutes.
A second half switch to a back three allowed Curtis to level on 65 minutes and Clamp to finish off a deadly Rail attack four minutes later after Amar Purewal’s pull back.
Prescot piled men forward, but were repeatedly denied by Chandler Hallwood, Simon Parkes, Harry Coates and co who carried Railway over the line for what could be a crucial win.
Lee Ashforth made three changes from Saturday’s trip to Ossett Town; replacing Luca Mellor, Will Peers and Matty Lovegreen with Parkes, Clamp and Stephen Bromley.
Doran scored four the last time the two sides met, and wasted no time finding the net against Railway for a fifth time this season, latching on to Lloyd Dean’s through ball and placing into the bottom right corner.
The creator of the opener then had to be replaced when, after a slick passing move, Dean went to ground in the Railway area and looked to dislocate his shoulder, with an ambulance later arriving at the ground.
Railway first made inroads towards the Tigers goal after 29 minutes when Curtis cut back from the left by-line and powered towards goal, only for a visiting defender to get his body in the way and block.
Doran was hungry to add to his 24-goal campaign and bent a free kick over the bar before racing through the Rail offside trap and uncharacteristically firing over with just Hallwood to beat.
Railway twice thought they had levelled in the dying stages of the half when Chris Ovington smashed past Marcus Burgess on two occasions only to be flagged offside both times.
Three minutes into first half stoppage time Railway created their best chance when Dan Thirkell slid a pass to Purewal who tried to lift over the advancing ‘keeper but placed his finish the wrong side of the post.
The second half started quieter than the first half finished, with Bromley and Coates both getting in the way of Andy Scarisbrick’s shots.
With Ashforth knowing something had to be done to haul Railway back into the game, the gaffer introduced Beesley and switched to a back three just after the hour mark.
The move paid immediate dividends as Bromley bent a pass in behind the Prescot defence that Curtis raced on to and remained composed to level the scores.
Before Cables had chance to react, Railway claimed another as Coates spread the play left towards Purewal who accelerated past his marker and sent a low cross in to the path of Clamp to bury into an empty net.
Prescot piled men forward, but it was Railway who continued to create the best chances as Curtis’ pace on the break allowed the striker to cut inside and flash a right footed shot in front of goal.
Second half substitute Will Peers then came a fraction away from sealing the win deep into stoppage time as he crashed an edge of the box volley off the inside of the post after Beesley’s shot had been bravely blocked.
The referee’s whistle soon sounded and Railway picked up their fifth league win of the season to reduce the deficit to five points with four games remaining.
Harrogate Railway: Hallwood, Parkes, Hunter, Low, Coates, Thirkell, Ovington (Beesley 64), Clamp, Purewal, Curtis, Bromley (Peers 77)
Subs not used: Lovegreen, Barrett, Mellor
Goals: Curtis 65, Clamp 69
Prescot Cables: Burgess, Harper (Grundy 80), Johnstone, Herbert, McCulloch, Evans, Bannister, Nicholson, Doran (Granger 45), Dean (Scarisbrick 20), Edgar
Subs not used: Nicholson, Duke
Goals: Doran 3
Referee: L Watson