Harrogate Town 2 York City 1: Derby victory ensures Trophy progress

Joe Leesley in action against York City during Saturday's FA Trophy encounter. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Joe Leesley in action against York City during Saturday's FA Trophy encounter. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town made it three derby wins out of three, beating local rivals York City by a 2-1 scoreline at the CNG Stadium.

Simon Weaver's team fell behind for the third game in succession, however strikes from Dominic Knowles and Liam Kitching proved sufficient to seal the Wetherby Road outfit's progress into the second round of the FA Trophy.

Town saw plenty of the ball during the opening exchanges, though the Minstermen eventually found their feet and should have taken the lead in the 18th minute.

Good work down the right by Jordan Burrow enabled Wes York to slide a low pass across to the waiting Lewis Hawkins, but he could only turn wide of the post from just seven yards out.

The visitors didn't have to wait long to claim the ascendancy, however.

A defensive mix-up on the edge of the Harrogate penalty area culminated in Alex Bray beating goalkeeper James Belshaw to the ball and slotting into an empty net with 21 minutes on the clock.

Town's response was swift enough and the scores were levelled shortly before the half-hour mark.

Knowles got on the end of a bouncing ball into the left-hand channel, getting the better of Kennedy Digie as he advanced towards the edge of the box, from where he bent a delicious right-footed strike into the bottom corner.

The remainder of the first period was rather scrappy, however Town should have headed into half-time a goal to the good.

Jack Muldoon got into the York box and danced around visiting stopper Adam Bartlett, pulling the ball back from close to the right byline for Leesley, who could only clear the cross-bar when it looked easier to score.

The second half began the same way that the first had finished, strong winds and pouring rain no doubt playing their part as both teams struggled for fluency on a freezing cold afternoon.

There was little action of any note until just before the hour-mark when Knowles engineered himself enough space to curl a 25-yard effort narrowly past Bartlett's left-hand upright.

Then, with 66 minutes gone, Town got their noses in front.

Kelvin Langmead nodded George Thomson's left-wing corner up in the air and Bartlett flapped at the ball under pressure from Knowles, allowing Kitching to lash into the top corner of the City goal.

The visitors had the chance to even things up when substitute Macaulay Langstaff found space inside the home area, only to be denied by an excellent Belshaw block.

At the other end, Warren Burrell's acrobatic over-head kick following another corner from the left forced a diving save out of Bartlett and the Minstermen then survived the ensuing scramble.

The closing stages saw Town looking the more likely, and although the couldn't add to their tally despite plenty of possession, they had already done enough to seal the local bragging rights.