Harrogate Town and Shaw Lane played out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Friday night at The CNG Stadium as preperations continued for the new season.
Jordan Thewlis put the hosts ahead with a smart finish from Ryan Fallowfield’s cross after just six minutes, but returning striker Chib Chilaka levelled soon after with a typically powerful finish.
The visitors edged ahead after the restart through Alex Byrne’s precise free kick, though Josh Falkingham’s first goal in Town colours 11 minutes from time ensured the contest ended all square.
Simon Weaver made 11 changes for the second pre-season tie in a row, and named six summer signings in his starting XI.
Chilaka almost marked his return to The CNG Stadium with a goal inside the first two minutes as the striker tried a trademark turn that narrowly missed the far post.
It was the frontman’s former employers that took the lead though, as Thewlis met Ryan Fallowfield’s pacy cross to divert past Jon Stewart with six minutes gone.
Thewlis was inches away from his second of the evening soon after as the forward raced in behind the visiting back line and dinked over the ‘keeper, only to see his finish bounce back off the post.
Chilaka eventually got his name on the score sheet when, 32 minutes in, the striker collected possession on the edge of the Town box and shot powerfully past James Belshaw.
With just under a minute until the break, Belshaw pulled off a stunning one handed save to keep out Damian Reeves’ close range header.
With both sides taking advantage of pre-season and making changes, the second half took a while to get going, though George Thomson’s shot after the hour mark reminded the visitors of the threat posed.
It was Shaw Lane who would find the net next though, as Byrne curled a free kick into the top left corner after a foul by Toby Lees marginally outside the box.
Thomson had the chance to pull his side level after a quick counter attack saw second half Dominic Knowles play in the forward who frustratingly powered over the bar.
With 11 minutes to go substitute Knowles created the equaliser, chasing down Jack Emmett’s through ball and pulling back into the path of Falkingham who fired low under Stewart to ensure the contest ended level.