Marcus Day helps Harrogate Railway gain first league points in NCEL
Harrogate Railway collected three points in the NCEL Premier League Wednesday as Lee Ashforth's revitalised Railwaymen beat Athersley Recreat 3-1 at Sheerien Park.
Railway started the brighter and took an early lead when Steve Bromley met Ryan Sharrocks’ low cross from the right.
Play was very open with both teams full of running and once in possession, Recreation were quick to get forward.
And Railway’s lead didn’t last long as Athersley broke down their left. Simon Parkes’ attempted interception saw the ball break into the path of top goalscorer Kai Hancock who slotted it past Jake Lofthouse.
Railway tried to get a firm hold on the game, but it remained very open with play going from end to end.
Greg Kidd had the next clear-cut chance; through on goal, he struggled to get the ball from under his feet and the defenders cleared his shot.
At the other end, Lofthouse was forced into making a great save before Railway broke again.
From a Greg Kidd corner, the exceptional Alex Low climbed highest to head goal-wards only for Aiden Tyas in the Penguin’s goal to stretch and tipped over what seemed like a certain goal.
It was a poor pass through midfield by Athersley that gave Rail the upper hand.
Bromley pounced on the loose ball and ran at pace with Sharrocks out right and Marcus Day to his left.
As the defender ran to close him down he slipped the ball to his left and into the path of the supporting Day, who took a touch, looked up and coolly finished, shooting across the keeper to put Rail back in front.
With 33 minutes on the clock, Atherton went close to getting another equalizer from a corner. Railway had to clear the ball off the line, with the resulting shot going just wide.
There were chances at either end during the final 15 minutes of the first half, however Railway went in just ahead at the break.
The second half got underway and Harrogate started the brighter capitalizing on their early endeavour.
Day turned provider this time getting down the Harrogate Railway right to put in a telling cross and George Mason was the quickest to react and guided it home from close range.
Railway sat deep in the final part of the game and had to defend relentless Athersley attacks.
But it was the team in blue that had the best chance in the closing minutes when Day ran through the Penguins’ defence, rounding the keeper and shot across the face of goal from a tight angle.
Railway held Atherton at arms length for the remainder of the game, restricting them to a couple of attempts that were easily cleared.