Leamington 1-3 Harrogate Town
New signing Callum Hassam scored on his second Harrogate Town debut as the Sulphurites won the spa-town derby 3-1 at Leamington on Saturday.
Hassam was given a start for Town after registering just in time for the trip south. Adam Nowakowski and Craig Nelthorpe were also recalled to the ranks following the 4-0 defeat at home to Solihull Moors.
Town were given an early opportunity when home keeper, Neil Collett was booked for handling just outside his area,but the “Brakes” wall blocked both James Walshaw’s free kick and Nelthorpe’s follow up.
Walshaw forced Collett into a full length save as Town dominated and it was no surprise when Hassam gave them the lead on the quarter hour with a smart turn and shot which took a slight deflection to wrong foot Collett.
Leamington soon recovered their composure and Dan Newton almost equalised when his flying header from Aron Wint’s deep cross flashed past the upright.
Hassam was making his presence felt with a header from a Walshaw cross which went just wide and then a cheeky back heel which went straight into Collett’s midriff.
However,it was the Brakes who struck minutes before half time when Richard Batchelor stooped at the far post to head in Stephen Morley’s free kick.
Within two minutes of the restart,Town had the ball in the net when Lloyd Kerry’s cross was headed to Nowakowski, but his close range shot was ruled out for offside.
The ball spent long periods in the air as both side favoured the long ball approach.
Simon Lenighan had two shots which were easily dealt with,while at the other end, the home forwards skied several attempts way over the bar.
On 78 minutes the Brakes defence only half cleared a corner and Nelthorpe punished them with a well struck thirty yard drive into the bottom corner.
Leamington’s,Stefan Moore missed a sitter after being set up by Newton’s header,but Dave McGurk made the points safe when he was left with the simple task of tapping in at the far post when the home defence failed to deal with Lenighan’s cross.
Town: 1 Barnes, 2 Bloomer, 3 Meynell, 4 Lenighan, 5 Heath, 6 McGurk (c), 7 Kerry, 8 Nowakowski, 9 Hassam (Speight 61), 10 Walshaw, 11 Nelthorpe (Franks 90).
Unused subs, 13 Crook, 14 Kendall, 15 Rowe. Bookings Meynell, Nelthorpe.
Scorers, Hassam 14, Nelthorpe 78, McGurk 86. Att.482