Town cruise to County Cup success
Harrogate Town strolled into the West Riding FA County Cup quarter-finals courtesy of a 4-1 win over Campion AFC at the CNG Stadium.
Marcus Day scored after just two minutes of Tuesday evening’s clash to put the hosts ahead at the break before Wayne Brooksby and Chib Chilaka added to the scoreline in the second half.
Eli Hey pulled one back for the visitors, but Danny Ellis soon restored Town’s advantage and set up a home tie with 2016 winners Bradford Park Avenue in the next round.
Boss Simon Weaver made eight changes from Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Curzon Ashton, including recalls for Chilaka, Peter Crook and Ben Parker. Harrogate started in perfect fashion, as a Jack Emmett cross from the right was finished in fine style by youngster Day.
The visitors responded well, but a powerful strike from just outside the area flew high above gloveman Crook’s crossbar.
The next chance of the evening fell to Town winger Brooksby, who saw a shot from distance dramatically saved by Campion keeper Danny Armitage.
In the 28th minute, Brooksby hit another attempt from the edge of the area, which Armitage grasped at the second attempt, after originally spilling the effort.
Following some neat work down the left, Emmett almost claimed his second assist of the night, but Chilaka couldn’t find the net with his head from just two yards out.
The second half resumed with a Town kick-off, and they instantly piled on the pressure when Lewis Turner had a fine strike tipped over the bar by the Campion custodian.
Hey then broke at the other end and shot low at Crook, who could only parry the ball back into the six-yard area, but Parker was on hand to make a crucial intervention.
Campion pressed again and Lee Bradshaw found space on the left and fired low at Crook, but his shot was intercepted by Parker and cleared away from danger.
In the 62nd minute, Day found Brooksby in the box and the latter calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net to put Town 2-0 ahead.
Just five minutes later, Andi Thanoj made a fine run from his own half and slotted a perfect ball through to Brooksby, who picked out Chib Chilaka to fire home number three from six yards out.
Mark Bett then almost caught Crook out with a 40-yard looping strike, but the Town number one palmed the effort to safety.
Ten minutes later, a Brooksby corner found Tom Platt’s head, forcing Armitage into another spectacular save.
Campion pulled a goal back when Hey slotted into an empty net after a mix up in Town’s defence resulted in the ball falling directly into the path of the onrushing striker.
Minutes after, another Brooksby corner found an unmarked Ellis in the centre of the area, and the big centre-half guided his header in at the far post to restore Town’s three-goal lead and seal a comfortable victory.