Gloucester City 1-1 Harrogate Town
Both teams’ top scorers were on the scoresheet as Harrogate Town stretched their unbeaten away run to six at Gloucester City.
After a first half in which chances were few and far between, the afternoon’s goals arrived just one minute apart.
First Simon Ainge continued his fine form in front of goal, almost taking the net off with a thunderous strike after 58 minutes, before The Tigers’ own top marksmen levelled under a minute later in what would secure a share of the points.
Simon Weaver made one change from last Saturday’s entertaining 3-3 draw with Fylde as Danny Ellis returned in place of the injured Louie Swain.
The first chance of the afternoon fell to the in-form Ainge inside the first five minutes when Lloyd Kerry won possession and poked towards the striker, whose finish was hooked off the line.
Liam Agnew was next to come close to breaking the deadlock as his edge of the box volley flew just wide of the post.
The hosts then went close as centre half Sam Avery fired just wide of the far post, moments before Luke Shiels’ last ditch challenge prevented Gloucester’s attacker finishing a promising opening.
The lively Luke Thomas then saw his low shot kept out by Peter Crook at his near post, before Andi Thanoj struck Kerry’s blocked shot over the bar to bring a half of few chances to an end.
After both sides had headed chances at the start of the second half, Joe Leesley sent a low shot towards goal that Jasbir Singh just about held on to.
Just moments before the hour mark the contest sprung into life as, seconds after clearing the cross bar from a yard out, Ainge hit a sweet strike into the back of the net to put Town ahead.
The lead lasted less than a minute though, as The Tigers’ top scorer Hopper found a clever finish from inside the Town box to claim his 15th of the season.
Lewis Turner tried his luck at restoring Town’s advantage from 30 yards, but shot a fraction over the bar.
The hosts were also desperate for a win that would see them close in on the play off places, but were denied going ahead by the frame of Crook who closed down substitute Joe Parker’s finish.
With the pitch taking its toll on players from both sides, neither were able to craft an opening worthy of stealing all three points.
Harrogate Town: Crook, Turner, Ellis, Shiels (Colbeck 30), Parker (Emmett 75), Agnew, Thanoj (Day 79), Kerry, Leesley, Ainge, Burrell
Subs not used: Platt, Elliott
Goals: Ainge 58
Gloucester City: Singh, Thomas, Hall, Deaman, Avery, Finnie (Williams 73), Hanks, Webb, Hopper, Kotwica (Parker 63), Thomas
Subs not used: Moseley, Hamilton, King
Goals: Hopper 59
Referee: P Gibbons