Harrogate Railway's hopes of escaping drop zone hit by Knaresborough Town's late leveller

Harrogate Railway remain rooted to the foot of the NCEL Premier Division table after conceding an 83rd-minute equaliser in Saturday's derby encounter with Knaresborough Town.

Sunday, 14th April 2019, 1:57 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th April 2019, 2:39 pm
Danny Blacker fired Harrogate Railway ahead in Saturday's derby clash with Knaresborough Town. Picture: Craig Dinsdale

Danny Blacker's first-half goal seemed as if it would be enough to hand the men from Station View a crucial victory over their local rivals and lift them out of the relegation zone.

Yet, Luke Stewart ensured that the spoils were shared at Manse Lane, leaving his former club needing to win their final game of the season if they are to have any chance of survival.

A sizeable crowd of 300 were in attendance, but they had to wait until the 12th minute for any real action, Boro skipper Will Lenehan directing a free header from a corner wide of the mark.

Four minutes later, the Railwaymen took the lead.

Gregg Anderson attempted to shepherd the ball out of play, however Aaron Kitao managed to nip in and then cross for Blacker to fire home via the underside of the cross-bar.

Another Blacker shot was saved by Boro keeper Sam Lee soon afterwards, before Joe Wilton in the away goal was forced into action by a Ben Cohen volley.

Early in the second period, Sam Cook fired wide from a Lenehan header and Wilton tipped Simon Parkes' effort over the top.

Rail's Fatlum Ibrahimi had to clear a Ben Cohen corner from his own line, but when Stewart headed wide, things were beginning to look desperate for the hosts.

The equaliser then arrived in the 83rd minute as Brad Walker crossed from the right and Stewart powered a header home despite Wilton’s last-ditch attempt to claw the effort away and Railway protestations that the ball had not crossed the goal-line.

Dan Thirkell was narrowly wide as Boro pressed for a winner, but play soon switched to the opposite end of the field and Albert Ibrahimi engineered a sight of goal, only to see his strike blocked on the line by Lenehan.

Aaron Haswell then had a last-gasp chance to restore the Starbeck club's advantage and hand them a huge three points as he broke clear on the home goal, however he pulled his shot wide of the post with glory beckoning.