Railway safe after draw at Bottesford

Jordan Hendrie returned to the Harrogate Railway side as Ray Green's men earned a crucial point at Bottesford. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Jordan Hendrie returned to the Harrogate Railway side as Ray Green's men earned a crucial point at Bottesford. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Harrogate Railway secured their NCEL Premier Division status when they drew 1-1 on the road at Bottesford Town.

Ben Joyce’s second-half strike proved enough to earn Ray Green’s side the point that they needed to ensure that 20th-placed Barton Town Old Boys cannot overtake them on the final day of the season.

“I’m over the moon,” Green said.

“It felt a bit like we’d won the league at full-time. We hadn’t even won the game, but it’s a crucial point for us and a really good result away from home.

“I’m pleased that we managed to do it ourselves and haven’t had to rely on other results.

“I’m proud of the young lads who’ve come in and those players who have stayed loyal to the club and got us over the line.

“The pressure is off now, so we can relax and enjoy our final match of the season and try and finish on a high.”

There were no goals during the first half, but Joyce struck in the 67th minute to fire the Railwaymen into the lead.

Substitute Dan Boulton got Bottesford back on terms when he scored following a corner with 15 minutes to go, and the visitors came under plenty of pressure as their hosts pressed for a winner in the closing stages.

It was a nervy finale for Railway, but they did however manage to hold out for a vital point.

“I was really nervous towards the end of the game, they put us under some real pressure in the last five or 10 minutes,” Green added.

“Us scoring seemed to ignite them, and they really went for it, but we came through in the end.

“It was nice to have the experience of Jordan Hendrie back in the side at right-back, while our two young centre-halves Jack Lazenby and Sam Chapman were big and strong and did brilliantly.

“Liam Gray put in some great challenges in the middle of the park and Ben Joyce looked a threat in the number 10 role and took his goal well, but all the lads played their part.”