York arrived for the fixture missing key players and with potential ring rust from a long lay off due to numerous postponed fixtures. Initially York were the faster team out of the blocks and put Harrogate under pressure. However, it wasn’t long until Harrogate switched on and reversed their fortunes. Tom Coy and Nathan Heaton were both called into action early and rose to the task with some strong headed clearances from defence. The first clear chance of the game fell to Harrogate who shot high over the bar after the striker was hustled out into a wider position by Tom Algar. The lack of recent match time for York seemed to be showing and it wasn’t long until Harrogate took the lead. A Harrogate foray down the left wing led to a cross that was neatly and calmly put away by Harrogate.
Harrogate continued in their ascendancy and kept the pressure on York. Keiron Clayton, Algar and Heaton were working hard to break down Harrogate’s attacks and beginning to show promise, but the ball just did not seem to bounce in York’s favour. York were set back further when they were forced to make a change due to an injury to Cole Gayles. This saw the introduction of Mathew Dawes on the right wing. York could still not find their way in the game and this was hampered even further when Coy also had to be replaced due to injury. Will Hotson came off the bench as replacement.
As the first half came to a close Archie Colley, Eliis Cataneo, George Harrison and Clayton showed signs of encouragement for York as they began to string passes together and play more like the spectators from York were accustomed to seeing. Harrogate were still maintaining pressure and a critical headed clearance from Hotson right at the end of the half kept the score to only 1-0. Despite significant pressure from Harrogate for most of the 1st half Harrogate managed very few shots on target thanks to the hard work of the York defence.
Half Time 1-0
York started the second half much stronger. Colley immediately seized upon a miss clearance from the Harrogate defence and sent Tommy Cahill charging down the left wing to win a corner. Only moments later Algar sent a dangerous cross into the box that a Harrogate defender put into his own goal while trying to cut it out.
Cahill was beginning to find more luck down the left wing. A series of corners and shots were falling to York but again it was Harrogate who took the lead through a tap in from a counter attack down their left wing.
Harrogate’s pressure continued and only the relentless work of Jack Maeer, Hotson, Heaton and Algar at the back kept them out with Clayton and Colley often been the route to relieve the pressure and get ball up the pitch.
Cahill won and quickly took a corner that Heaton managed to get on the end of, the keeper cleared his lines but only as far as Cataneo who fired from just inside the box forcing a great save from the Keeper.
Harrogate made the score 3-1 when they neatly headed in from a corner just before the referee’s final whistle.
Final Score: 3-1
MOTM Tom Algar