Gainsborough trinity 0 - 2 harrogate town
Harrogate Town recorded their first away victory of the season on Tuesday night with a convincing 2-0 win at Gainsborough Trinity.
Lloyd Kerry gave Simon Weaver’s men the lead in terrific style as the Town midfielder found the top left corner from 25 yards in the 16th minute.
With four minutes left of the half, JP Pittman claimed a second Town goal on his first start for the club, beating Jonathan Hedge at his near post to all but seal the victory.
Former Town winger Jordan Thewlis tried his upmost to bring his team back into the contest, but had no joy as Town remained at pace with the early National League North leaders.
Weaver made four changes from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Altrincham, handing Chib Chilaka, JP Pittman and Jack Emmett their first starts of the season.
For the home side, three former Town players made the starting line-up in Jordan Thewlis, Ashley Worsfold and Gavin Rothery.
Joe Leesley’s delivery had caused problems for the home side within the opening ten minutes as Pittman headed off target minutes before Emmett almost turned in Simon Ainge’s head back across goal.
After 16 minutes of pressure from Weaver’s men, Kerry picked up the ball 25 yards out and struck sweetly into the top left corner to put Town ahead.
Trinity’s first attempt on Peter Crook’s goal came after 23 minutes, but Nathan Jarman’s speculative effort was too high to trouble the England ‘C’ stopper.
Two minutes later Luke Shiels had the opportunity to add to his two goals this season after Leesley’s corner was only headed to the centre half five yards out, though Jonathan Hedge was in a good position to catch the attempt.
Six minutes before the break Kerry turned provider; finding Pittman on the last line of the Trinity defence and allowing the former Grimsby man to run towards goal and beat Hedge at his near post with a powerful left footed strike.
Two minutes after doubling the lead it could have been three for the rampant visitors as Chilaka dribbled his way into the box and struck the base of the post with his finish.
Gainsborough came out after the break with a fresh energy about them and went close early on through Alex Wiles who narrowly missed the far post with his low attempt.
Former Town favourite Jordan Thewlis continued the hosts’ strong start to the half, picking up a loose ball and running at the Town defence with pace before forcing a save from Crook.
Weaver’s men dealt with the early pressure and were soon back on the front foot as Leesley’s shot required Hedge to be alert to claim after traveling through the legs of Chilaka.
It was then the turn of the Trinity defenders to keep the score at two as forceful efforts from Lewis Turner and Leesley were blocked in quick succession.
Joe Colbeck entered the action with 20 minutes to play and was involved immediately firing a first time effort just past the far post.
Kerry attempted to put the icing on the cake with six minutes to go after collecting Warren Burrell’s lay off and seeing his shot deflected over the bar.
Despite a late bit of attacking flair from Thewlis presenting Jake Picton with a chance to halve the deficit late on, the full back missed the target and Town claimed a second victory of the season.
Harrogate Town: Crook, Turner, Parker, Burrell, Ainge, Shiels, Kerry, Leesley (Colbeck 71), Chilaka, Pittman (Day 88), Emmett
Subs not used: Ellis, Platt, Gascoigne
Goals: Kerry 16, Pittman 39
Gainsborough: Hedge, Picton, Lacey, Scott (Wiles 42), Quinn, Evans, Thewlis, Thornhill, Worsfold (Hazell 72), Jarman, Rothery (Reid 72)
Subs not used: Bateson, Eastwood
Referee: G Rhodes