Glossop North End 5-1 Harrogate Railway
Harrogate Railway suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of third placed Glossop North End on Saturday afternoon, but will feel aggrieved their performance didn’t get something from the game.
Jamie Rainford’s headed goal in the 29th minute, his 21st of the campaign, separated the two teams at the break in a largely even first 45.
The contest continued in the same even fashion until the 68th minute when Captain David Young doubled the lead from the spot and paved the way for Benjamin Richardson and Astley Mulholland to find the net within the next eight minutes.
Dan Barrett’s calm finish in the 85th minute rewarded Railway’s efforts with a goal, but Mulholland grabbed another before the afternoon was through to give the score line a one sided feel.
Lee Ashforth made seven changes from his side’s last run out and handed Harrogate Railway debuts to George Foster, Luca Mellor and Nathan Curtis.
It was Chris Willcock’s side that had the first glimpse of goal as Kieran Lugsden got the wrong side of the Rail defence, but lost his footing as he went to shoot; allowing Tom Goodwin to claim comfortably.
Railway had more than matched their promotion chasing opponents with Charlie Clamp, making his first start since October, impressing in the early stages.
The first big chance of the game then fell to Mulholland who had been sent through on goal after a rapid Glossop counter attack had capitalised on a mistake by Foster, though the winger got his finish all wrong and sent the ball harmlessly over.
With 20 minutes gone, Railway had arguably been the better side with both Lawrance Hunter and Dan Thirkell, making his 30th start of the season, having good shots blocked.
New signing Curtis then managed to connect with Railway’s Captain’s cross, but could only divert the ball into the arms of Luke Pilling.
It was The Hillmen, however, that opened the scoring when a long free kick into the box was headed up rather than out and dropped onto the head of the deadly Rainford who guided his header past Goodwin into the opposite corner.
Railway didn’t let the goal faze them, and played the remainder of the first half with the same energy that had made things uncomfortable for Glossop, though the hosts did carry a constant threat on the counter.
Just seconds into the second period, a mix up between Mellor and Alex Low at the heart of defence almost allowed Mulholland an easy tap in only for Goodwin to recover and kick the attempt wide.
Railway’s stopper then produced a fine save in the 52nd minute to deny the Evo-Stik NPL D1N’s second top-scorer, Rainford, who had unleashed a powerful strike towards the near post.
Rainford was hungry for goals, but was again left frustrated minutes later when he found space down the left channel only to slide his finish narrowly past the far post.
The contest’s defining moment came in the 68th minute when, while making a desperate attempt to deny a shot at an open goal, Clamp caught the Glossop man in possession and conceded a spot-kick.
Home Captain David Young made no mistake from 12 yards as he struck the kick low and hard down the middle.
Railway barely had time to come to terms with being two behind as Glossop added another four minutes later when substitute Richardson tapped in from a couple of yards after Goodwin had parried Rainford’s low shot.
Another four minutes passed before Willcock’s men added a fourth when Mulholland, who will feel he should have been on the score-sheet earlier, sent a fairly weak strike goal wards that left Railway players flatfooted and rolled into the far corner.
With the result beyond doubt, Ashforth’s men were playing for pride and got themselves a deserved goal with five minutes to go when substitutes Will Peers and Dan Barrett combined, allowing the latter to expertly round Pilling and score.
The afternoon’s scoring didn’t end there though, as three minutes later, some patient build up play from Glossop allowed Mulholland freedom at the back post to tap in his second of the game.
Railway have the opportunity to put the 5-1 defeat behind them on Monday night when Spennymoor Town make the trip to Station View.
Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, Foster, Hunter, Mellor, Low, Thirkell (Peers 73), Sharrocks (Mason 67), Clamp, Owen (Barrett 73), Curtis, Dhesi
Subs not used: Wood, Day
Goals: Barrett 85
Glossop North End: Pilling, Lugsden, Russell, Parker, Young, Andrews (Carey 76), Mulholland, Rainford, Bailey (Richardson 64), Lugsden, White (Shaw 64)
Subs not used: Dillon, Reed
Goals: Rainford 29, Young 68, Richardson 72, Mulholland 76, 88
Referee: S. Mulhall