Town win back John Smith’s Cup

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver guided his side to John Smith's Cup glory over Harrogate Railway.
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver guided his side to John Smith's Cup glory over Harrogate Railway.

Adam Bolder’s first half strike was enough to win back the John Smith’s Cup for Harrogate Town over local rivals Harrogate Railway 1-0.

Both teams came into the contest on a high after pre-season victories on Saturday.

Rail’ picked up a 1-0 win over Leeds City.

Town, meanwhile, thrashed Northern Irish side Crusaders 8-2.

Chib Chilaka and Paul Beesley started up front for Simon Weaver’s men. It was the former who had Town’s first chance of the night when he went clean through, but his shot was well saved by Jordan Yorath.

Town applied the early pressure. Chilaka’s header flashed wide of the goal after a flick on by Beesley.

Adam Nowakowski then saw his header clip the left hand post after a whipped in ball into the box.

Alex Meechan was next to test Yorath as Town twisted the knife. Rail’ had one or two bright spells but it looked more likely the away side would open the scoring.

Billy Miller’s men stood firm, and they had a golden opportunity to make it 1-0 on 41 minutes.

A long ball forward caused trouble in the Town defence. Alan White touched the ball back to Jose Veiga who picked it up under pressure from a Rail’ attacker.

The ref’ had no option but to call for a pass back.

From the resulting set play Colin Hunter saw his shot cleared off the line, Danny Thirkell then smashed the rebound against the bar’.

In a quick passage of play, Town countered up the other end and the ref’ adjudged there was a pass back to the Railway ‘keeper.

The Wetherby Roaders had no problem converting their chance. Dave Merris set up new boy Bolder who slotted home minutes before the break.

After the restart Rail’ had a golden opportunity to make it 1-1 when Simon Wood was clean through in the area. But his shot blazed wide of Veiga’s post.

Town had a number of chances to kill the game off, but were wasteful in the final third.

Despite a late rallying cry from Rail’ Town held on to record a 1-0, reclaim the John Smith’s Cup and make it three pre-season wins on the bounce.

Rail’ assistant Lee Ashforth was gracious in defeat.

“It was a good work out for us,” he said.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game against Harrogate Town, but I thought we did well.”

Lifting the trophy in front of the away fans, Town boss Weaver will be hoping it’s not the last piece of silverware his side win this season.