Salford City 2 Harrogate Town 2: Advertiser player ratings

Harrogate Town showed plenty of character to twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Salford City on Friday evening.

Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 11:34 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 11:38 am
Ed Francis stabs home Harrogate Town's 93rd-minute equaliser at Salford City. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Here's an assessment of how Simon Weaver's players performed during their League Two showdown at the Peninsula Stadium

James Belshaw 7 - Made a decent save to deny Ash Hunter one-on-one, but might be disappointed that he wasn't able to do better with the initial strike which led to Salford's second. However, if he hadn't ventured forward for that last-gasp corner and forced the ball goalwards, then Town's equaliser probably wouldn't have arrived.

Jay Williams 8 - Was left exposed at times and looked vulnerable on a number of occasions in the first 45, though he showed a lot of character to come out after half-time and deliver an excellent defensive performance that was full of heart and determination. Competed and tackled strongly.

George Thomson was deployed in the centre of the Town midfield.

Jake Lawlor 7 - A little bit tentative at times during the early exchanges before growing into the game. Won plenty of headers and helped ensure that Town did a decent job of protecting their box for the most part of the second period.

Connor Hall 8 - Like his central-defensive partner Lawlor, he could have perhaps have asserted himself a bit more forcefully to start with, but as always he read the game well. Went about his work in composed fashion, while also drawing a decent save out of Vaclav Hladky, which led to a chance for Aaron Martin.

Ed Francis 8 - ADVERTISER STAR MAN. Another stand-out performance, despite the fact that he was deployed out of position at left-back. Looked comfortable in that unfamiliar role, delivering a mature 90 minutes' work for a young man with so little experience of senior football. Was in the right place at the right time to net his side's deserved late leveller.

Brendan Kiernan 7 - Couldn't impact the game early on and also didn't offer Williams enough protection down the right initially, but once he got going he put in plenty of hard yards for the team. Was unfortunate to see a sweetly-struck volley hit the Salford cross-bar rather than the back of net at 1-1.

Glasgow Rangers-loanee Josh McPake shone down Town's left flank.

George Thomson 7 - Was handed a berth in the centre of a two-man midfield and acquitted himself well, using his experience to make sure he was in the right areas to be able to influence the play. Some calm, assured touches and passed the ball tidily.

Josh Falkingham 8 - Led by example. Was tenacious and battled away like a terrier, but kept a relatively cool head and ensured that those around him kept theirs up at 2-1. Couldn't get close enough to Robbie Gotts to prevent Salford's opener, but found the energy to cover back and make a couple of key interventions inside his own box later in the second period.

Josh McPake 8 - Looked lively from the very first minute. Backed his ability on the ball and tried to take the game to City down the left at every opportunity. On this evidence, Town have a very exciting talent on their hands. Came close to a late goal before Francis did eventually make it 2-2.

Jack Muldoon 7 - Ran hard after a bit of a quiet start, though was fairly anonymous by his own standards. Still, showed excellent awareness and a ruthless edge to finish off the one chance that fell to him on the night.

Aaron Martin 6 - Fared pretty well in the air and during his physical battles with the Ammies' centre-halves, but could just do with a goal. Couldn't react quickly enough to direct an instinctive header into a gaping net shortly before the interval.