Harrogate Town 3-4 Tamworth
Danny Newton’s last gasp brace ensured Tamworth left The CNG Stadium with all three points after a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes.
Town had twice come from behind to lead 3-2 up until the 87th minute when the league’s second highest scorer finished well at the near post and caught the hosts on the break three minutes later.
In a topsy-turvy first 45 the visitors led though Connor Taylor and Ross Dyer, but were twice pegged back as Chib Chilaka and Simon Ainge found the net.
Warren Burrell’s emphatic volley in the 56th minute looked to have sent Town towards a memorable three points only for Newton to leave it until the very death to do the damage.
Simon Weaver made five changes from Tuesday night’s West Riding County Cup win as strikers JP Pittman and Dominic Knowles returned to the bench.
Town started brightly, but it was the visitors who had the first shot on target as Greg Mills tested Peter Crook from an early free kick.
After a rather uneventful opening, The Lambs ensured it wouldn’t be a third consecutive goalless visit to The CNG Stadium when Taylor half-volleyed into the top left after a corner was only partially cleared.
It took the hosts just seven minutes to draw level though with a wonderfully executed counter attack.
Crook rolled the ball to Joe Leesley at left wing back who found Wayne Brooksby free to dink a cross towards Chilaka who beat Belshaw to the ball to finish.
Burrell almost turned the tie on its head moments later as his 30 yard effort was palmed over the cross bar by the Tamworth stopper.
With three minutes to go until the break, Andy Morrell’s side restored their advantage when Dyer was first to react to Newton’s strike being parried and headed past a grounded Crook.
The advantage was once again short lived though as Ainge headed Leesley’s corner into the top corner just seconds after the fourth official had indicated two minutes of added time.
Eleven minutes into the second half Town took the lead for the first time of the afternoon as Ainge headed Leesley’s deep cross back to Burrell who controlled on the chest and emphatically volleyed home.
Newton tried to put his side back on terms, but was denied by Crook who kept out the striker’s top corner bound half-volley.
With ten minutes remaining the visitors started to throw everything they have at the home defence, though a series of blocks by Luke Shiels and co kept The Lambs at bay.
Despite the efforts of Town’s back line, an equaliser arrived with three minutes to play as Newton finished at the back post for his 11th league goal of the season.
The prolific striker then dealt Town a sickening blow as he raced through on goal as we approached stoppage time and beat Crook via the post!
Harrogate Town: Crook, Shiels, Ainge, Parker (Turner 45), Thirlwell, Burrell, Colbeck, Leesley, Brooksby, Clee (Emmett 71), Chilaka (Pittman 82)
Subs not used: Thanoj, Knowles
Goals: Chilaka 36, Ainge 45, Burrell 56
Tamworth: Belshaw, Burns, Morley, Deeney, Jones, Lane, Mills, Clarke (Davies 83), Newton, Dyer (Briscoe 67), Taylor (Opoku 77)
Subs not used: Tomassen, Wright
Goals: Taylor 29, Dyer 42, Newton 87, 90
Referee: B Khatib