Harrogate Town 6 Scunthorpe United 1: Sulphurites rout sorry Iron to move within a point of top spot

Harrogate Town ran riot at home to struggling Scunthorpe United, scoring five before half-time to move to within a point of the League Two summit.

Saturday, 9th October 2021, 5:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th October 2021, 5:40 pm
Alex Pattison netted twice in Harrogate Town's mauling of Scunthorpe United. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Simon Weaver's team produced some irresistible attacking football on their way to their biggest-ever EFL victory and were clinical in front of goal, showing no mercy as they put a shambolic visiting side to the sword.

The tone for the afternoon was set within the opening 60 seconds, Connor Hall seeing a header from George Thomson's right-wing corner cleared off the goal-line.

Will Smith then went close having made first contact with another Thomson set-piece, this time from the left, before the hosts broke the deadlock on eight minutes.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jack Diamond crossed from the left, picking out Ryan Fallowfield, who rose magnificently at the far post and thudded a header against the underside of the cross-bar. Jack Muldoon was first to react inside the six-yard box, calmly nodding the rebound into the back of the net.

The home lead was doubled six minutes later when Town broke with ruthless efficiency from a Scunthorpe corner. Muldoon turned provider on this occasion, playing an inch-perfect through-ball for Alex Pattison to race on to on the right corner of the 18-yard box and slot beyond Rory Watson.

It was 3-0 soon afterwards, Diamond picking up the ball in a central position inside the Iron half, driving goalwards before cutting in on to his right foot and unleashing a low 20-yarder, which swerved beyond the despairing dive of Watson and into the bottom corner.

With bottom-of-the-table United miles off the pace and unable to lay a glove on their hosts, the game was ended as a contest after half an hour as Town launched another devastating counter-attack.

Diamond gained possession well inside Harrogate territory, showing lightning pace to reach the edge of the Iron box, from where his low right-wing cross found an unmarked Pattison, who made no mistake with a first-time finish.

And it was five in time added on at the end of the opening period as Lloyd Kerry - a 37th-minute substitute for the injured Josh Falkingham - saw a long-range half-volley pushed away by a stretching Watson.

The ball was recycled to Pattison, who crossed from the left for Muldoon to loop a clever header into the net, taking his tally to the season to five.

Unsurprisingly, Town never quite hit the same heights after the break, but they continued to ask plenty of questions of a visiting side seemingly happy to pull shirts and dish out late hits after the ball had gone.

Scunthorpe finally enjoyed a spell in the ascendancy during the final third of the match, and this resulted in them pulling a goal back on 79 minutes.

Simon Power lost the ball as he attempted to run it out of defence from an Iron corner and Alfie Beestin's centre from the left was met by Harry Davis, who powered an excellent downward back header across Mark Oxley and inside the post.

Harrogate would however restore their five-goal cushion within three minutes after the match officials spotted Lewis Thompson's sly shirt pull on Power.

The United left-back, who had been woeful throughout and was already on a yellow card having committed the same offence on the same player earlier in the half, was given his marching orders and substitute Danilo Orsi did the honours from the penalty spot, firing home via the base of the upright.

Saturday's victory was Town's sixth in 11 League Two matches and keeps them second in the table but breathing down the neck of leaders Forest Green Rovers, who were beaten by Swindon earlier in the day.