Harrogate TOWN 2 - 2 Curzon ashton
Naill Cummings’ 94th minute spot kick denied Harrogate Town a sixth win of the season on Saturday afternoon as Simon Weaver’s men drew 2-2 with Curzon Ashton at The CNG Stadium.
A first half JP Pittman brace had put Town in a commanding position as the striker finished off Tom Platt’s pass and flicked in Joe Leesley’s cross within seven minutes of each other.
Matthew Flynn gave The Nash an instant reply though, converting at the back post just four minutes later after the visitors found themselves 2-0 down.
After an uneventful second half, referee Darren Strain pointed to the spot after Platt had been judged to have fouled his man; allowing Cummings to claim a point for his side deep into stoppage time.
Weaver made one change from Monday’s 1-0 win at Halifax with Andi Thanoj returning to the midfield in place of the injured Lloyd Kerry.
Town made a rapid start to the afternoon with Joe Leesley at the heart of Town’s good play, combining with Lewis Turner who forced a save from Hakan Burton before beating four players and almost finding JP Pittman six yards out.
Jack Emmett went close to finding the opener when he turned Burton’s punched clearance goal wards only for Matthew Flynn to slide the attempt off the line.
Fifteen minutes in and The Nash began to test the Town backline, breaking at pace and forcing Turner into a well-placed block before Paul Ennis was denied by Peter Crook at the near post.
Despite some encouraging signs from the visitors, it was Town who took the lead in the 25th minute when Tom Platt found Pittman whose first touch took him through on goal and in position to slide past Burton.
It took seven minutes for Pittman to claim his second of the afternoon, flicking Leesley’s free kick past the ‘keeper with his head and eventually being awarded the goal, despite the linesman having raised his flag.
A lapse in concentration then handed Curzon a lifeline as Flynn was left unmarked at the far post and made no mistake turning in Ennis’ cross to half the deficit.
After a slow opening to the second half, Curzon started to find a rhythm and forced Turner into making another crucial interception to deny Ennis finishing Joe Guest’s cross.
Another dangerous Guest cross on the hour mark caused more problems down the Town right, but this time Crook made a comfortable save from Ennis’ attempt.
Town remained a threat at the other end though, with Leelsey striking into the arms of Burton after good hold up play from substitute Jordan Robertson.
Weaver then introduced Chib Chilaka into the fray, and the striker was straight into the thick of things; flashing a shot across the face of goal from the right by-line.
With ten minutes to play, Curzon were desperate for an equaliser, and almost found it as debutant James Baillie was close to curling into the top left corner after cutting inside on his left foot.
Curzon came within the posts width of levelling in the 89th minute as substitute Rory Gorman cannoned a cross/shot off the upright from the right by-line.
Deep into the fourth minute of stoppage time, Curzon Ashton were awarded a penalty as Tom Platt was penalised for a late foul.
Leesley had a chance to wrap up the points in stoppage time, but couldn’t find the finish after being picked out by Chilaka.
Cummings handled the pressure of the last gasp kick and stroked into the right of the goal to send John Flanagan’s men home with a point.
Harrogate Town: Crook, Turner, Colbeck, Shiels, Ainge, Burrell, Thanoj (Robertson 57), Leesley, Platt, Pittman (Chilaka 70), Emmett (Brooksby 78)
Subs not used: Ellis, Stewart
Goals: Pittman 25, 32
Curzon Ashton: Burton, Rowney, Guest, Hunt, Shaw (Baillie 45), Flynn, Wright (Gorman 69), Tomsett, Cummings, Ennis (Hall 74), Howard
Subs not used: Hazeldine, Mason
Goals: Flynn 36, Cummings 90+4 (p)
Referee: D Strain