Harrogate Town stunned by minnows Eccleshill United in cup final

hsb  Harrogate Town V Gloucester City. Number 4.  (131214M5a)
hsb Harrogate Town V Gloucester City. Number 4. (131214M5a)

Marcus Edwards’ controversial late penalty shocked Harrogate Town as Eccleshill United sealed a famous triumph in the West Riding County Cup final at Bradford City’s Coral Windows Stadium.

Edwards scored from the spot in the tenth minute of injury time to hand the Bradford club their first ever county triumph.

It left Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver still waiting for a first trophy for the club.

And the match was soured further for Weaver’s men as Chris Hall had earlier suffered a season ending injury, which meant Town finished the match with ten men having made all their substitutions.

The first half was largely underwhelming and Northern Counties East League Division One side United were more than match for the Skrill North outfit.

Liam Hardy had three chances for Town, testing Eagles ‘keeper Brendon Roslund with two shots and bulleting a header wide.

Eccleshill, featuring eight Americans in their team, produced chances of their own but both Drake Trease and the tricky Adam McCabe failed to severely test Craig MacGillivray.

Harrogate sprung to life before half-time. Former Leeds United midfielder Michael Woods, blazed over from 12 yards moments before Roslund brilliantly denied Dominic Rowe.

The second half went much of the way of the cagey first. Matt Bloomer had to be in the right place to deny United’s Edwards a 40th goal of the season after he powered a header goalwards.

Hall’s injury came after an innocuous challenge which caused suspected knee ligament damage and held play up for ten minutes.

With Weaver having used his three substitutes, Town were made to complete the final 15 minutes, and any impending extra-time with ten men.

Eagles substitute Charlie Flaherty saw a shot saved by MacGillivray before Daniel Holowaty’s follow up trickled past the post with with the goal gaping.

Town’s own sub Adam Bolder then had a similar fate at the other end after Ashley Worsfold rounded the United stopper.

But the real drama came in the final minute of injury time. Edwards’ shot was blocked by Matt Heath’s hand tight in front of his chest and the referee’s assistant flagged for a penalty.

The prolific striker stepped up to send Town keeper MacGillivray the wrong way and send the Bradford outfit’s fans into raptures.

Harrogate’s players were left deflated and distraught as the referee immediately blew for full-time.

Read the as it happened blog by Ed White at Matchday Live