Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle United U21s 0: Danilo Orsi on target again in routine EFL Trophy success

Danilo Orsi scored his fourth goal in two EFL Trophy appearances as Harrogate Town beat Newcastle United Under-21s at a canter.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 10:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 10:50 am
Danilo Orsi fires home Harrogate Town's second goal during Tuesday's EFL Trophy win over Newcastle United Under-21s. Picture: Matt KIrkham

The Sulphurites striker, who hit a hat-trick against Mansfield back in August, struck right at the end of the first half to wrap up what was a comfortable victory for Simon Weaver's men.

Town were gifted a sixth-minute lead when an under-hit pass by visiting goalkeeper Mark Gillespie was cut out by Jack Muldoon on the edge of the away box.

The Harrogate striker showed good awareness to cleverly flick the ball to his left, teeing-up Lloyd Kerry to slot the ball confidently past the scrambling Magpies custodian.

There was an opportunity for Josh Falkingham to extend the home advantage when he outmuscled Jack Young and burst through on goal, but with just Gillespie to beat he attempted to square the ball to Orsi, and the opportunity was snuffed out.

Jack Diamond then picked out George Thomson inside the Newcastle penalty area, though Brad Cross produced an excellent last-ditch challenge to keep the ball out of his net.

The visitors' best moment of the half came on 37 minutes when Elliot Anderson's dipping effort from long range narrowly cleared the Harrogate cross-bar.

The home lead was however doubled a minute before the interval when Town turned over possession just inside the United half, allowing Muldoon to raid at pace down the centre of the pitch.

Once again demonstrating his unselfish side, the experienced forward slipped the ball to his left, where an unmarked Orsi beat Gillespie with a clinical finish into the top corner.

The second period saw Town remain in almost complete control, but take their foot off the gas slightly.

Will Smith's 54th-minute strike from a corner was well saved by Gillespie, before the Harrogate centre-half tried his luck again just seconds later, only for a defender to this time get in the way.

Gillespie was called into action again on 73 minutes, getting down at his near post to beat away Diamond's 25-yarder, while Newcastle's clearest opening of the night came and went at the other end when substitute Adam Wilson forced Joe Cracknell into a decent stop.

Emmanuel Ilesnami made history when he became the first graduate of Town's new academy to appear for the first team, replacing Jack Muldoon on 83 minutes - and he almost made an instant impression, testing Gillespie with an acrobatic effort.

Fellow youngsters Brad Williams and Ben Tweed then followed Ilesanmi onto the field late on as the evening ended with a flurry of chances.

First Jay Turner-Cooke fired over with just Cracknell to beat, then Kerry saw a lob hit the top of the cross-bar with Gillespie stranded having raced off his line to deny Ilesanmi one-on-one.

Victory leaves Weaver's men with a perfect record in the competition, having won both of their group-stage fixtures thus far.