Town undone by another late strike

Danny Ellis is beaten in the air during Harrogate Town's defeat at Tamworth. Picture: Town Pix
Danny Ellis is beaten in the air during Harrogate Town's defeat at Tamworth. Picture: Town Pix

Harrogate Town were beaten by a late goal for the second game in succession as they went down 3-2 at Tamworth in National League North.

Danny Newton’s strike for the Lambs were twice cancelled out by Dan Jezeph’s own goal and Simon Ainge, though Ben Fox struck just four minutes from time to inflict a third defeat of the year on Simon Weaver’s men.

Town’s manager made one change from last weekend’s 88th-minute loss to Kidderminster as Jack Emmett, who impressed off the bench at Aggborough, replaced Lewis Turner.

The first chance of the afternoon fell to Ainge as JP Pittman’s flick fell to the striker 10 yards out, but the club’s top scorer was unable to hit the target.

The visitors then had gloveman Peter Crook to thank for keeping the scores level as he kept out goalbound strikes from Reece Styche and Newton inside the first 10 minutes.

Just seconds after Ainge looked to have been hauled to the ground inside the Tamworth penalty area, the hosts took the lead when Newton collected possession and cleverly poked into the bottom right-hand corner.

Town had to wait until 12 minutes before the break for their next sniff of goal as Ainge’s instinctive effort following Danny Ellis’ header back across goal went over the top.

Ainge didn’t have to wait long for his next opening as Emmett stood up a cross to the far post, only for the resulting header to miss the target.

It could have been two for the Lambs just five minutes before the interval as Newton’s sharp turn allowed space for the National League North’s second top scorer to strike the base of the post.

Town got back on level terms just before the hour-mark when, after an almighty scramble in the Tamworth box, Burrell nodded towards goal, and although the header looked to have been caught by Dan Jezeph, the ball somehow ended up in the back of the net.

Newton looked to craft an instant response for his side, but was again thwarted by Crook who thwarted him from a narrow angle.

Moments after almost catching Crook out at his near post with a cheeky attempt, Styche was brought down by Town’s stopper going across the box, prompting referee Mr Rhodes to point to the penalty spot.

Newton stepped up confidently and found the top right corner to put the hosts back into the lead.

Tamworth’s second lead of the match lasted for just four minutes though, as Joe Leesley’s deep cross was powerfully headed over the line by Ainge, just before substitute Marcus Day could provide the finishing touch.

Leelsey then had a golden chance to give his side the lead for the first time, but was met by Jezeph’s clever low save after racing through one-on-one.

The hosts then made Town pay for the miss as Fox was afforded time to shoot on the edge of the box, with the midfielder’s attempt somehow finding its way past Crook.

Town threw everyone forward to try and salvage an equaliser in the closing stages, but couldn’t find a way through on their way to just a third defeat of 2017.