Harrogate Railway fail to capitalise on strong start as Athersley stage fightback

Josh Underwood bagged Harrogate Railway's second goal against Athersley. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Josh Underwood bagged Harrogate Railway's second goal against Athersley. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Not for the first time this season, Harrogate Railway failed to capitalise on a positive start, letting slip a 2-0 lead at Athersley Recreation.

Craig Ogilvie's men have now netted the first goal in five of their last nine NCEL Premier Division outings, though victory has eluded them on each occasion.

"It's almost as if the players have forgotten how to win," boss Ogilvie said following his team's 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon.

"Aside from the Maltby and Knaresborough games, we haven't been playing at all badly in recent months, we've been getting ourselves into good positions but failed to kill teams off.

"On Saturday, the first half was all us. They missed a penalty and our goalkeeper has had to make one really good save, but we were much the better side and deserved to be 2-0 up.

"They made three substitutions at half-time and took the game to us after the break, however we still had chances to get a third goal at both 2-1 and 2-2.

"We should have been out of sight and, overall, I'm disappointed to only end up with a point, though they hit the post from a one-on-one in the last minute, so we could have finished empty-handed."

Aaron Kitao fired the Railwaymen ahead in the 28th minute, converting from the spot after Sam Barker had been tripped in the box.

Athersley were then awarded a penalty of their own, but failed to convert it and the away lead was doubled shortly before the interval.

Kitao was involved once more, getting down the right before picking out Josh Underwood who took a touch and then finished with his left foot.

The second period saw the hosts produce a much-improved display, Kyle Wordsworth pulling a goal back on the hour-mark before Lee Garside levelled things up six minutes later.

Both sides had chances to go on and win the match, though in the end the spoils were shared, leaving Railway second from bottom of the pile ahead of this Saturday's home clash with Worksop Town (3pm).