Harrogate Town 2 Torquay United 1: Alex Bradley and Jon Stead shoot down the Gulls

Goals from Alex Bradley and Jon Stead proved sufficient to lift Harrogate Town up one place and into sixth in the National League standings.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 5:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 12:26 pm
Alex Bradley is congratulated after opening the scoring in Harrogate Town's 2-1 win over Torquay United at the CNG Stadium. Picture: Matt Kirkham

The pair's strikes paved the way for a 2-1 home success over Torquay United on Saturday afternoon, but from a position of complete control, Simon Weaver's team were made to work hard for the points during the closing stages.

Re-called to the side and asked to fill in at right-back, midfielder Bradley got fowards from defence to open the scoring after 10 minutes.

Cutting inside, the Lincoln City-loanee made it to the edge of the box before unleashing a shot that was deflected into his own net by Gulls man Robbie Cundy.

The rest of the opening period passed without too much incident of note, Jack Muldoon breaking all on his own from inside his own half and firing wide of the mark just before the interval.

Town began the second 45 with a flourish, Muldoon's powerful strike almost squirming under the body of Lucas Covolan, George Thomson going close with a curler and Stead nodding straight at the Torquay custodian.

Then, with 55 minutes on the clock, veteran Stead found his range to double the home lead.

Mitch Hancox overlapped down the left, linking nicely with Brendan Kiernan and rolling a teasing ball back across the penalty area, which Stead met first-time and finished with aplomb.

Town appeared to be absolutely cruising to victory at this stage, however with 67 minutes on the clock United were gifted a route back into the contest following Bradley's clumsy challenge inside his own box.

Jamie Reid blasted home the resulting spot-kick to set up something of a nevy finale.

And, while substitute Jack Diamond let fly with a couple of wayward efforts from outside the box and Stead drew another unconvincing stop from Covolan, it was at the other end where the clearest opening of the closing stages materialised.

Ben Whitfield was presented with a clear run into the home box, only to drag his finish across the face of goal, and with that went the Gulls' hopes of salvaging a share of the spoils.