Railway fight back to win 10-goal FA Vase thriller

George Eustance created four goals in the second half as Harrogate Railway came from behind to beat Darlington Railway Athletic. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Harrogate Railway progressed to the second qualifying round of the FA Vase after recovering from 4-2 down to win a 10-goal thriller at Darlington Railway Athletic.

Liam Gray’s side, who were beaten 5-3 at Worksop Town in another high-scoring affair in their last outing, looked set to exit the competition having conceded four times in the opening 47 minutes of the game.

They did however manage to score four second-half goals to turn the game on its head, eventually running out winners by a 6-4 scoreline.

Damon Reaks gave the Northern League outfit a 13th-minute lead, but Sidney Santos brought the men from Station View level just before the half-hour-mark.

Parity lasted just 60 seconds, however, as Reaks restored Darlington’s advantage before Phil Caley struck a third goal with 37 minutes on the clock.

Crucially, Gray’s men managed to pull a goal back before half-time when Elliot Williams smashed home from the penalty following a foul on Dionisio Mendes.

A second goal of the game for Caley just moments after the re-start then put the hosts back in control, only for the visitors to haul themselves back into contention in the 55th minute.

George Eustance’s cross was headed onto a post by Mendes and Albert Ibrahimi sidefooted home the rebound for 4-3.

Another Eustance ball into the box then afforded Adam Carter the opportunity to level things up and the substitute converted at the back post with 66 minutes played.

And it was another assist from the boot of Eustance that saw Mendes put the Starbeck side ahead for the first time in the game, the former Guinea-Bissau international showing his class by back-heeling the ball into the net.

Skipper Jordan Hendrie then put the seal on a fine comeback victory when he added a sixth goal with just a couple of minutes remaining, with the dangerous Eustance once again the provider.

Awaiting the Railwaymen in the next round on September 23 is a trip to County Durham to play Willington, another team from Division Two of the Northern League.

Gray’s troops are back in action on home soil when they entertain Barton Town Old Boys on Wednesday evening, 7.45pm kick-off.

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