High flying Town brought down with a bump
08 March 2016
Following the point against Stockport on Saturday Andy Morrell’s squad welcomed second placed Harrogate to The Lamb. He was forced to make one change to the starting eleven with Louis Ezewele coming into the starting eleven following injury to Dan Preston against County.
Former Lamb Simon Weaver’s Town side, with former Lambs Lloyd Kerry and Brendon Daniels in the starting eleven, could only hope to pull away from North Ferriby, Fylde and Nuneaton with a win, but were a fair distance behind league leaders Solihull, who The Lambs had defeated on their own patch, 10 days previously and would be hoping for a similar result under the home floodlights.
Harrogate got the game underway with Tamworth attacking the Meadow Street End in the first half but there was quick and immediate movement towards Belshaw’s goal from the visitors.
A threaded ball from Durrell on 5 found Strong and his shot was blocked but fell for Dyer whose shot was then blocked and when Newton received the ball he tried a shot too but that too was blocked and cleared.
An 8th minute corner from Durrell was met by Strong on the left of the box but his shot went a few feet wide of the left hand upright. Strong was then booked on 10 for a trip on Emmett and the freekick on the right hand edge of the area from Daniels smashed into the wall and was cleared.
Green was penalised for leaning into Clayton just outside the D and Daniels lined it up but it struck the wall and Durell hoofed it clear.
Deeney was brought down by Daniels in front of the home dugout and followed up his challenge to leave the Lambs player on the floor and requiring treatment on 20 but the officials had obviously not seen the incident clearly and play halted while the physio came on.
On 26 a low ball into the area from Newton on the right skipped through and back to keeper Crook after evading the touch of Dyer.
The half hour mark came and went without incident, or goal but on 35 McGurk hit a right footed drive from 20 yards that went wide of the right hand upright.
A great move from Durrell out of midfield to find Dyer who then passed to Newton set up the striker with a rising shot from the left of the area that would have produced a superb goal from the left of the box but with Crook well and truly beaten it was a few feet high over the far post.
A deep freekick from Durrell forced a corner on the left on 42 but the ball went straight into the hands of Crook.
Daniels fired the ball in from the left and although Platt’s shot was off target and wide of the near post, it had exposed a gap at the back that Belshaw wasn’t happy with, but was happy to restart play with a goal kick.
One minutes added time was shown and when Dyer was brought down in the right channel his cleared free kick ended the first half.
Tamworth restarted proceedings, kicking towards the Castle End but the first real chance came on 48 when Thewlis struck form the right of the area over the target.
A low long range shot from Newton forced Crook into a save on 50 and Durrell followed up with a shot over the bar from 18 yards.
Kerry was booked for a foul in the centre circle on 51 and from the dead ball Ezewele forced a corner on the left by the clubhouse with a blocked shot.
Durrell’s flag kick went short to Strong and he beat two men but his final cross let him down. Daniels was replaced on 58 as Harrogate brought fresh legs into the top of their formation.
Then on 63, Strong made a great run into the box only to be tripped by Turner, so Turner was booked and Durrell stepped up to fire home the spot kick past Crook (1-0, 63 mins)
Tamworth took the game to the visitors after the restart and forced a couple of corners and from the second Green fired low from the edge of the area, but his shot was cleared away by Gascoigne.
Carter picked up a yellow card on 71 for bringing down the Harrogate right midfielder en route to goal. And following a foul on the half way line, Kerry was booked for the second time on 74 folllowing a foul on Newton to leave his side a man short for the remainder of the game.
A deep freekick from Turner on 78 was nearly touched goalward in the area by at least one Town player, but it skipped past the far post and out for a goalkick.
There was another booking on 85 for Platt when he tripped Burns on the right wing and Deeney played it short for Strong whose shot deflected out for a corner.
Tamworth made a couple of late changes and four minutes added time were shown at the end of the game. And sub Smith made headway down the right but his cross was headed away from the danger area. Knowles picked up a late booking before the final whistle blew on a fine three points.
Belshaw, Burns, Dyer R, Deeney, Carter, Ezewele, Durrell (Smith L 87), Green, Newton, Taylor (Dyer J 88), Strong
Subs: Moulton, Morrell, Wright
Yellow: Strong 10, Carter 71
Harrogate Town Team:
Crook, Turner, Warren, Platt, Ellis, McGuirk, Emmett (Colbeck 73), Kerry, Clayton, Thewlis (Knowles 74), Daniels (Gascoigne 58)
Subs: Foster, Swain
Yellow: Kerry 51+74, Turner 62, Platt 85, Knowles 90
Red: (Kerry 74)
Man of the Match: Elliott Durrell
Referee: Mr. M. Buonassisi