Harrogate Town 1-3 Gainsborough Trinity
Harrogate Town’s unbeaten start to 2017 came to an abrupt end on Saturday afternoon as Gainsborough Trinity ran out 3-1 winners at The CNG Stadium.
Town took the lead in the 22nd minute when Lloyd Kerry flicked in Joe Leesley’s cross with the help of a goalkeeper error, though the lead lasted just three minutes before Matthew Thornhill slid into an empty net.
Former Town man Jordan Thewlis then put his side ahead just past the hour mark as the forward raced in behind the Town defence and finished calmly.
Tom Davie then sealed a first Trinity win at The CNG Stadium since 2008 to move his club up three places in the National League North; emphatically smashing home a corner that had dropped kindly to his feet.
Simon Weaver named the same starting 11 that drew 2-2 away at FC United of Manchester last weekend with Louie Swain partnering Kuda Muskwe in attack.
After a quiet opening 20 minutes, Town claimed the opener when Leesley rounded his marker and crossed towards the near post where Kerry’s flick forced George Willis into fumbling the ball into the net.
The goal seemed to spark the contest into life, as just three minutes later, Gainsborough equalised through Captain Thornhill.
A cross from the right dropped to Davie who forced Peter Crook into a reaction save, only for Gainsborough’s skipper to slide the resulting loose ball into an empty net.
With ten minutes to play until the break, Gainsborough almost edged in front when former Town man Thewlis forced an excellent one handed save from Crook, after cutting in on his right and bending towards the bottom corner.
Another former Town forward had a fantastic chance to put Trinity ahead on the stroke of half time when the ball fell to Ashley Worsfold eight yards out, only for the striker to fluff his lines and let off his former employers.
Like the first half, the second 45 took a while to get going with Davie’s comfortably saved free kick the only action of note in the opening quarter of an hour.
A third goal of the contest soon arrived though, as Thewlis raced behind the Town back line, got to the ball marginally before Tom Platt and slid home.
The goal looked to have given Trinity a lift as Darnell Bailey-King almost added a third with 20 minutes to play, firing inches wide of the far post from a narrow angle.
Trinity’s third goal of the afternoon eventually arrived three minutes later when a corner dropped to the feet of Davie to smash high into the net.
With the visitors two goals to the good, Town never threatened to force a way back into the contest and were made to settle for a first league defeat of the calendar year.
Harrogate Town: Crook, Parker (Rzonca 71), Shiels, Platt, Colbeck, Leesley, Thanoj, Kerry, Burrell (Chilaka 64), Swain, Muskwe (Emmett 59)
Subs not used: Ellis, Turner
Goals: Kerry 22
Gainsborough Trinity: Willis, Roma, Lacey, Wilson, Evans, Picton, Bailey-King (Reid 88), Thornhill, Worsfold (Smith 82), Thewlis (Rothery 74), Davie
Subs not used: Wilson, Quinn
Goals: Thornhill 25, Thewlis 62, Davie 73
Booked: Worsfold, Picton
Referee: M Dicicco