Town set up Saturday FA Cup date with Frickley

hsb   Lee Elam playing for Harrogate Town against Oxford City.  (120915M4c)
hsb Lee Elam playing for Harrogate Town against Oxford City. (120915M4c)

Harrogate Town stormed through Tuesday night’s FA Cup replay, beating West Auckland 5-1 at the CNG Stadium.

After Luke Dean opened their account with a penalty, a Paul Beesley brace, plus strikes by Lee Elam and Chib Chilaka propelled the Wetherby Roaders comfortably in Saturday’s third qualifying round tie at home to Frickley (3pm).

Manager Simon Weaver was a happy man, and delighted to see his troops banging in the goals.

“It’s a nice feeling, and very pleasing to get a convincing win.” he said.

“There were a few goals going in, and some good moves.

“West Auckland are a good team, they had nothing to lose but I told the lads we had to stick to what we do well, keep our disclipline, win the challenges and stay focused.

“We got the penalty which Luke put away, and then at the start of the second half we were slightly on the back foot as they came straight back but the reaction after that was fantastic.

“Everyone combined well, building from the dominance of the centre halves up to the midfield and full backs, and then the two men upfront; we won the battles.

“We had a bit of battle with the elements but the pitch held up well.”

The reward for Tuesday’s efforts is a home draw against Evo-Stik Premier outfit Frickley, as Town seek to progress in the famous competition.

For more on that match, see Thursday’s Harrogate Advertiser.

Meantime, the Town boss was satisfied by last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Worcester City.

Weaver was expecting a battle in front of a crowd of 900, but was pleased with the result which leaves Town 11th in the Blue Square North table.

Town went 1-0 down after an own goal conceded by Alan White, who headed Ellis Deeney’s centre into his own net.

But local lad Dan Clayton scored on his debut for Town, levelling the contest with a powerful strike in the 25th minute.

Chilaka threatened with two decent chances and loan signing from York City Tom Platt nearly scored only to have his shot blocked.

Worcester scored again with ten minutes to go but Town stuck to the task and rescued a point when sub’ Beesley powered in Dave Merris’s throw with seconds left on the clock.

“Worcester City had won five games on the bounce before that, and I think before the game we said that a point would be a good starting place,” said Weaver

“We were unlucky with the own goal, but it was great to see Dan score and Tom do well.”

Meantime HARROGATE RAILWAY thrashed Yorkshire Amateurs 5-2 in the West Riding County County Cup on Tuesday.

A Sam Ackeroyd double, plus goals by Jon Maloney, Nathan Cartman and Colin Hunter propelled them comfortably into the next round.

But this weekend it’s back to the league and boss Billy Miller is keen to get his side’s Station View monkey off his back on Saturday when they host Lancaster (3pm).

Rail’ have yet to win at home this season in the league, although they have won twice on their travels in Evo-Stik Division One North to sit 15th in the table.

Miller saw his side beaten again on home soil on Saturday when they went down 4-2 to Trafford in the FA Trophy, but the Railway supremo feels a maximum league return is just a matter of time.

He said: “The results so far are not really a concern to us.

“The season is only a month and a half old and we’ve played some pretty good sides.

“Trafford were without a doubt the best side we’ve played this season and we gave a good account of ourselves in that match.

“And we did beat Bamber Bridge 2-1 at Station View in the FA Trophy so it’s not as if we haven’t done anything at home.

“It would be nice to get that win under our belts in the league, though.”

The games come thick and fast now with Ossett visiting Railway on Tuesday night for another league encounter.

“That’s the way we want it,” insisted Miller. “We have a good side here and have just brought in Sam Ackroyd from Brighouse on a permanent deal and Rob Youhill on loan from Harrogate Town to complement what we have.”

Also in County Cup action last night were Tadcaster Albion, who won 2-1 at Thackley AFC.

Knaresborough Town meanwhile beat Brighouse Town 3-2.