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Harrogate Town 3 - 1 FC United of Manchester

by Hal Boxhall-Dockree
06 September 2016

Harrogate TOWN 3 - 1 FC United of manchester 

 

Tom Platt’s brace helped Harrogate Town get back to winning ways as FC United of Manchester were beaten 3-1 on Tuesday evening at The CNG Stadium.

 

The visitors had momentarily silenced the home support in the 16th minute when Luke Ashworth headed Karl Marginson’s men into the lead.

Within four minutes Town were back level, as Tom Platt converted JP Pittman’s pull back with a clever first time finish.

Pittman then turned provider just shy of the hour mark as the striker converted Lewis Turner’s cross for his seventh of the season.

Having let a lead slip on Saturday, Platt ensured there was no chance of that happening again as the stand out performer of the evening drove home his second of the evening in the 88th minute.

Simon Weaver named an unchanged line-up from Saturday’s draw with Curzon Ashton Joe Leesley starting at the tip of a midfield diamond.

Platt forced Jonathan Diba Musangu into the first save of the evening as The Reds’ stopper turned the long range effort round the post.

Simon Ainge almost headed Town into a fourth minute lead when he connected with Leesley’s corner at the far post only for the attempt to be scrambled off the line.

After Town’s early flurry of chances, the visitors looked a real threat on the counter attack and were only denied a clear cut chance to take the lead through Ainge’s clever interception.

Marginson’s men then claimed the first goal of the contest as Ashworth connected with a corner and squeezed his header into the net at the back post.

It took Town just four minutes to get back on level terms though, as JP Pittman found space on the right of the FCUM area and pulled back to Platt who drove low into the goal first time.

The two sides exchanged openings on the half hour mark, first when Joe Colbeck beat a defender by controlling a long ball but saw his shot blocked, then Tom Eckersley tried his luck on the turn only to miss the target.

The action settled down towards the end of the half with Jack Emmett’s shot easily kept out and Ainge heading Leesley’s set piece over the top the only notable action.

Unlike recent matches, Town started the second half brightly with Leesley flashing a cross/ shot across the face of goal within five minutes.

Weaver’s side’s bright start then got the rewards it deserved as Pittman fired the hosts into the lead after 58 minutes.

Moments after Andi Thanoj had denied Matthew Wolfenden with a perfectly timed sliding tackle, Lewis Turner broke down the left and found Pittman who smashed home the second attempt after his initial header was saved.

Marginson made three changes in response to going behind, but replacement Dale Johnson couldn’t keep his shot down on the turn.

With just under ten minutes to play, the deadly Leesley to Ainge combination almost came up good once again, only for The Captain’s header to sail over.

Chib Chilaka had been introduced in the closing stages and almost rewarded the decision, dribbling in from the left and forcing Musangu into a clever save with his feet at the near post.

Town looked to be heading for the win in the 88th minute when Platt powered towards goal and smashed home his second of the evening on his left foot.

The Red Rebels tried in vain to claw their way back into the contest, piling men forward but being denied by Crook who tipped goal scorer Ashworth’s flick over the bar in what was the last action of the game.

Harrogate Town: Crook, Turner, Colbeck, Shiels, Ainge, Burrell, Thanoj, Leesley, Platt, Pittman, Emmett (Chilaka 81)

Subs not used: Ellis, Robertson, Brooksby, Stewart

Goals: Platt 20, 88, Pittman 58

FC United: Diba Musangu, Tonge, Chantler, Kay, Eckerskey, Ashworth, Wolfenden (Glynn 67), Lowe, Greaves (Johnson 67), Thomson, Gilchrist (Pratt 74)

Subs not used: Johnson, Kisimba

Goals: Ashworth 16,

Booked: Musangu

Referee: S Lucas

Attendance: 1,094