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Harrogate Town 3 - 2 Bridlington Town

by Hal Boxhall-Dockree
20 September 2016

 Harrogate Town 3 - 2 Bridlington Town

 

Chib Chilaka’s 89th minute finish means Harrogate Town will travel to FC United of Manchester in the 3rd Qualifying Round of The Emirates FA Cup.

 

JP Pittman’s ninth goal of the season had put Town ahead after 25 minutes, before Jack Emmett looked to have put the hosts out of sight six minutes after the interval.

Bridlington hit back immidietely though with Chris Adams tapping home from close range within seconds of falling two behind.

Ryan Nicholls then thought he had sent the tie to extra time when the centre half headed home a free kick in the 85th minute only for Chilaka to break The Seasiders hearts with a last gasp winner.

Simon Weaver handed first starts of the season to Captain Danny Ellis and Paul Thirlwell as Town’s Manager made five changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw in Bridlington.

Town were on the front foot right from the off as a James Hitchcock error gifted the ball to JP Pittman who crashed the underside of the bar just two minutes in.

Town’s top scorer then went one better; smashing Jack Emmett’s floated cross into the net after his initial header was blocked 25 minutes into the action.

Simon Ainge thought he had doubled the hosts’ lead just three minutes later as the centre half headed Joe Colbeck’s free kick past James Hitchcock, only to look up and see the linesman’s flag in the air.

Bridlington almost equalised with seven minutes remaining of the half as Saturday’s goal scorer Joel Sutton fired just over the bar after a pull back from the right wing.

Emmett extended Town’s lead six minutes after the restart after Dominic Knowles cross found the winger unmarked at the far post.

Bridlington responded within seconds of going two behind though, as a long ball was well kept in by the right by-line and flashed across the face of goal for Adams to tap into the net.

As the match progressed past the hour mark, Hitchcock made a fantastic double save to prevent Town restoring their two goal advantage as the stopper first saved Emmett’s poked finish before keeping out Wayne Brooksby’s strike.

Knowles then should have put the contest out of sight after Ainge’s header was parried to the feet of the striker who couldn’t keep his finish under the crossbar.

Hitchcock then denied the striker on two occasions, keeping out Knowles’ low drive with his feet before beating away a strike from Brooksby’s cross.

With five minutes left to play, Nicholls thought he had done enough to take the tie to extra time when he headed in a leveller at the far post.

It was not to be for the plucky visitors though, as Brooksby’s ball into the box found Chilaka who shot powerfully past Hitchcock on the turn to send Town into the 3rd Qualifying Round.

Harrogate Town: Crook, Colbeck, Turner, Thirlwell, Ellis, Ainge, Brooksby, Burrell, Pittman, Knowles (Chilaka 72), Emmett

Subs not used: Leesley, Purkiss, Platt, Stewart

Goals: Pittman 25, Emmett 51, Chilaka 89

Booked: Thirlwell, Brooksby, Ainge

Bridlington Town: Hitchcock, Lewis, Waudby, taylor, Nicholls, Jenkinson, Kirk, Fleming, Chambers (Agnew 59), Sutton, Adams (Allanson 59)

Subs not used: Thompson, Norfolk, Knaggs, Bedford, Harman

Goals: Adams 52, Nicholls 85

Booked: Fleming, Lewis, Taylor, Jenkinson

Referee: M Donohue

Attendance: 446