Harrogate Town defender Terry Kennedy bagged a brace to set his side on their way to a 3-0 home success over National League North’s bottom side, North Ferriby United.
The former Sheffield United centre-half has been a huge threat from set-pieces since arriving at Wetherby Road, and registered his sixth and seventh strikes of the season as Simon Weaver’s men narrowed the gap on leaders Salford City to six points.
Mark Beck and Lloyd Kerry both went close for Town before they broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute through Kennedy who headed Joe Leesley’s corner into the net.
Leesley and George Thomson tried adding their names to the score sheet towards the end of the half, but both saw their efforts saved by Ferriby keeper Ross Durrant.
Three minutes after the re-start, the visitors had Durrant and Jack Walters to thank for keeping the deficit at one as the gloveman saved Warren Burrell’s one-on-one effort before Thomson’s follow up was headed off the line by left-back Walters.
But, with 53 minutes gone, Kennedy bundled home his second of the afternoon, meeting Thomson’s deep corner at the back post.
Town’s third goal arrived in the 67th minute as Jack Emmett’s cross found fellow substitute Simon Ainge at the back post, and the striker was able to head the ball into the path of Leesley to end the game as a contest.
The hosts’ third substitution saw Jordan Thewlis enter the action, and the forward almost got amongst the goals with a neat finish that was hooked away before it could cross the goal-line.
The afternoon did however finish on a sour note, as Ainge was shown a straight red card for an incident with Jake Picton who had fouled the attacker.
Next up for Weaver and his troops is a Boxing day trip to Darlington.