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Harrogate Town 2 - 0 FC United of Manchester

by Hal Boxhall-Dockree
04 October 2016

 Harrogate Town 2 - 0 FC United of Manchester

 

Harrogate Town booked an FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round tie with Halifax after a convincing victory over FC united of Manchester on Tuesday night.

 

Andy Gascoigne set the ball rolling in style; finishing acrobatically after a failed clearance just eight minutes into the contest.

Town continued to dominate proceedings and limited the visitors to very little in terms of shots on goal, though had to wait until the 75th minute to wrap up the tie.

Andi Thanoj had regained possession in midfield before releasing Joe Leesley down the right where the winger could cut inside and fire into the far corner to send Town into the next round of the cup.

Simon Weaver made two changes from Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Andy Gascoigne and Joe Leesley taking the places of Dominic Knowles and Tom Platt.

In the opposite dugout, Karl Marginson also made two changes as Tom Eckersley and Jason Gilchrist made the starting line-up.

Clearly still fired up from his late leveller at the weekend, Joe Colbeck started the contest by breaking at the visiting defence and forcing Dave Carnell into an early save with his feet.

Gascoigne had joined Colbeck on the score-sheet on Saturday, and extended his goal scoring run to two in two after just eight minutes when the attacking midfielder executed an acrobatic scissor kick inside the area.

Town nearly doubled their advantage after 22 minutes when Leesley skipped past his marker on the left wing and rattled the cross bar from a narrow angle.

The early assault on the visitors’ goal showed no signs of slowing down as Warren Burrell’s volley headed to the top corner was cleared from the line.

Gascoigne almost produced another memorable strike before the half was through, but shot off target from the edge of the area, quickly followed by Jack Emmett doing the same.

Andi Thanoj was next to go close, fooling his marker with a step-over then curling wide of the post in the dying seconds of the half.

The first chance of the second half fell to Marginson’s men as George Thomson was released behind Colbeck and drove inches wide of Peter Crook’s far corner.

Town responded with a chance of their own just prior to the hour mark as Gascoigne shot wide after Leesley had sprinted down the left wing and slid the ball into the midfielder’s path.

With fifteen minutes to play Leesley doubled the hosts’ lead, collectiong possession from Thanoj and driving down the right wing before cutting inside on his left foot and smashing home.

Substitute Matthew Wolfenden was presented with a golden chance to set up an entertaining final seven minutes, but dragged his unmarked finish wide of the near post.

Colbeck almost added a spectacular third for Town in the last action of the contest when his long range drive was parried over the bar.

Harrogate Town will now host Halifax Town on Saturday 15th October in the 4th Qualifying Round.

Harrogate Town: Crook, Colbeck, Turner, Burrell, Ainge, Ellis, Emmett, Thanoj, Pittman (Chilaka 48), Gascoigne (Purkiss 81), Leesley

Subs not used: Platt, Thirlwell, Shiels, Stewart

Goals: Gascoigne 8, Leesley 75

FC United of Manchester: Carnell, Williams, Tonge, Kay, Eckersley, Ashworth, Gilchrist (Lowe 72), Sheridan (Wolfenden 72), Johnson (Greaves 76), Thomson, Winter

Subs not used: Firth, Brown, Glynn

Booked: Winter

Attendance: 881

Referee: P Brown