Harrogate Town made a fine start to 2018, easing past Darlington by a 3-0 scoreline at the CNG Stadium.
Just a week on from their Boxing Day defeat to the struggling Quakers, Simon Weaver’s men made amends in some style to close the gap on National League North leaders Salford City to just four points.
Jack Emmett set the hosts on their way early in the second half of the New Year’s Day encounter before Jordan Thewlis made the points safe and Joe Leesley put a gloss on the scoreline in added time.
“I’m really pleased. From the off we looked to get on the ball and play to our strengths and it was a big improvement on Boxing Day,” boss Weaver reflected.
“It was a game of patience really because we believed that our full-time fitness and the way we play would wear them down.
“It was a case of not doing anything rash and staying solid at the back then looking to pass and get people energised in their half.
“With the pace that we had on the pitch I thought that we really hurt them when we attacked.
“To get the win and to do it in a controlled fashion carving out the chances that we did and to bounce back in style, we hope that the fans go home happy.”
There were no goals in the first half, but Town broke the deadlock three minutes after the re-start when Warren Burrell beat his man and raced to the byline before pulling back to Emmett who finished first time.
The lead was doubled six minutes later as, after Darlo gloveman James Talbot had denied Leesley one-on-one, the winger found Thewlis who was able to cut inside and find the bottom left corner.
Leesley added Town’s third and final goal with almost the last kick of the game, slaloming into the penalty area and picking out the top corner of Talbot’s net.
Next up for Weaver and his troops is a trip to 10th-placed Chorley on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.