Harrogate Town 2 Chorley 0: Brendan Kiernan and Jack Muldoon on target in victory over basement boys

Harrogate Town made a return to winning ways on Tuesday evening, beating the National League's bottom side Chorley 2-0 at the CNG Stadium.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 9:48 pm
Jack Muldoon celebrates after putting Harrogate Town 2-0 up against Chorley. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Brendan Kiernan and Jack Muldoon struck early in each half as Simon Weaver's side eased to three points without ever really getting out of second gear.

Having under-performed in Saturday's disappointing home loss to Dover Athletic, the pressure was on Town to make amends against a team without a win in eight matches since their promotion from National League North.

They did however get off to a near-perfect start, taking the lead with just four minutes on the clock.

Kiernan picked up a loose ball in midfield, motored down the right and sent the overlapping Ryan Fallowfield racing towards the byline.

The full-back's low cross eventually fell at the feet of Kiernan, and the man who started the move ended it with a clinical strike across Billy Crellin and into the far corner of the net.

That early breakthrough immediately settled Town down, though they failed to build on it and it was Chorley who were next to show when Chris Holroyd's well-struck effort stung the palms of home stopper James Belshaw.

And it took until the 44th minute for Harrogate to threaten the away goal again, Fallowfield unleashing a rasping drive from distance that had to be touched over the cross-bar.

Despite being a long way from their fluent best, Town looked comfortable at the break, though a second goal will undoubtedly have been high on their agenda.

They didn't have to wait long for it to arrive, however, as last season's top-scorer ended a run of 13 games without finding the net.

A right-wing corner was headed back across the six-yard box by Jon Stead and Muldoon was on hand to nod in from close range just two minutes after the resumption

And that was almost that for meaningful action, the hosts content with a two-goal cushion while Chorley struggled to make any real headway in the final third.

Giant centre-half Courtney Meppen-Walters did mange to whip a 20-yard free-kick just over the top of James Belshaw's goal, before the home custodian was forced into a routine save by Stuart O'Keefe's unorthodox close-range attempt.

That was as good as it got for the Magpies though, and they almost found themselves three goals down in the 88th minute.

Jack Emmett released fellow substitute Jack Diamond down the right, the Sunderland youngster dancing into the box before pulling back for the former, whose goal-bound shot was blocked by a defender.

Victory sees Town climb to 12th in the National League standings ahead of this weekend's long trip to Torquay United.