Bridlington Town 1-1 Harrogate Town
Joe Leesley’s 86th minute equaliser means Harrogate Town will host Bridlington Town on Tuesday night to determine who progresses to the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round.
It had looked for a long period like Town would be eliminated by their NCEL Premier Division opposition, who lead from the 19th minute onwards through Joel Sutton.
With just four minutes of normal time remaining, Leesley fired home Danny Ellis’ deep cross to save Town’s blushes and ensure we remain in the hat for the next round.
Simon Weaver made two changes from the team that beat Stalybridge on Tuesday night with Jordan Robertson and Andi Thanoj earning a place in the line-up.
After a slow opening quarter of an hour that saw only JP Pittman and Luke Shiels have sights of the Seasiders goal, Bridlington took a shock lead.
Shiels had challenged Danny Chambers for possession, but when the ball broke to top scorer Sutton, the forward maintained composure and slotted past Peter Crook.
Town struggled to create any way back into the contest, with Leesley and Thanoj’s free kick’s the only instances that called James Hitchcock into action in the remainder of the first half.
The two sides exchanged chances at the beginning of the second half, with Sutton shooting wide of the post after neat footwork at the edge of the box and Lewis Turner poking the ball past Hitchcock, but past the post.
With just over ten minutes to go, Town were desperate to pull level, but were denied as Pittman’s powerful strike was beaten away and Leesley headed wide Joe Colbeck’s cross.
Brid then had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them ahead as the stopper kept out Simon Ainge’s powerful header at the near post, and held on to the rebound.
There was nothing Hitchcock could do about Leesley’s strike in the 86th minute though, as the winger arrived on the end of Ellis’ deep cross and smashed the ball through multiple bodies and into the back of the net.
Despite squandering a lead they held for so long, Brid almost regained the lead four minutes later as Captain Tom Flaming lifted the ball over the advanced Peter Crook, only for Turner to hook the attempt off the line.
The afternoon then produced a sour note as Will Waudby was shown a straight red card for allegedly swinging an elbow in the direction of Wayne Brooksby.
That was the last of the action with a replay scheduled for Tuesday night at The CNG Stadium.
Harrogate Town: Crook, Turner, Colbeck, Burrell, Ainge, Shiels (Ellis 36), Platt, Thanoj (Brooksby 45), Robertson (Emmett 70), Pittman, Leesley
Subs not used: Chilaka, Thirlwell, Stewart, Purkiss
Goals: Leesley 86
Bridlington Town: Hitchcock, Lewis, Waudby, Taylor, Nicholls, Jenkinson, Kirk, Flaming, Chambers (Agnew 66), Sutton, Adams (Thompson 90+4)
Subs not used: Allanson, Norfolk, Bedford, Whittingham, Harman
Goals: Sutton 19
Booked: Jenkinson, Flaming, Taylor, Agnew, unused sub
Sent Off: Waudby
Referee: M Edwards