Harrogate Town continued their preparations for their debut season In the National League with an emphatic 7-2 win, this time against football league opposition in the form of a youthful Bradford City side.
Town started off the game very lively, within the first ten seconds of the game Dom Knowles found himself on the edge of the box and attempted a half volley which he put just wide.
Town’s early liveliness payed off in the fifth minute as Liam Kitching, who was starting having re-signed on loan in the last week, got onto the end of a George Thomson freekick and guided his header to the far post where the inform Dom Knowles was alert enough to tap in; extending his goal scoring streak to seven games.
Simon Weaver's men continued playing a very pressing game in the opening stages of the half, really getting into and causing problems for the young bantams.
Town’s pressure brought them several chances in the opening 20 minutes, Howe and Emmett had two very good chances after some good football by Town but unfortunately couldn’t find the back of the goal.
Emmett seemed unfazed by his missed opportunity as Harrogate went 2-0 up in the 17th minute after a lovely lob over the Bradford keeper George Sykes-Kenworthy as he approached to collect.
Then only a few moments later it seemed like Emmett had really caught the goal scoring bug, a lovely outside of the boot strike from the edge of the box flew past Sykes – Kenworthy to put Harrogate 3-0 up in the 23rd minute.
Despite falling behind early, Bradford weren’t giving up. What seemed like a rare run forward for the side resulted in a corner which was met well by City’s number nine Tom Clare.
The Town players seemed keen to not take their foot of the gas. After some lovely intricate passing, Jack Muldoon was picked out in the box who just had to slot it home from close range to make it 4-0 in the 30th minute.
Just as it looked like the half might dwindle out, some more impressive play from Emmett found goal scoring machine Knowles in the box who just had to tap it home in the 33rd minute to get his second of the day.
Then only three minutes later five goals became six as Muldoon picked out Aaron Williams to add his name to the score sheet.
Even as the game went into the closing stages of the first half, Town were still keen to add to the score; Muldoon gracefully controlled Howe’s 50-yard pass before having an effort at goal go just wide.
Despite being heavily up against it Bradford started off the second half well, passing the ball around to try and dictate the pace of the game.
After the excitement of the first half, the tempo of the second half struggled to get up and running. that was until Thomson was picked out by Williams at the edge of the box but was unable to get his shot on target.
Bradford didn’t give up, just before the hour mark Tom Clare was picked out in the box after a lovely fast paced run from Omari Patrick to get a goal for the bantams.
Despite the score line Bradford continued to battle, Clare got his second of the day in the 66th minute. After a lapse in concentration caused James Belshaw to be caught out allowing the Bradford number nine to simply tap in.
Despite the game quietening down, the goal scoring for the day wasn’t over yet for Town.
In the 75th minute, Thomson picked out Howe from a freekick just outside the box who nodded it onto Williams who pulled out the acrobatics to get his second of the afternoon.
The final 10 minutes of the game offered no mores for the Harrogate faithful, leaving Town to cruise to another pre-season win with 2 games to go until there debut in the Vanarama National league.
By Isaac Martin
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Kitching (Parker 45), Falkingham, Howe, Burrell, Thomson, Emmett (Agnew 76), Williams, Knowles, Muldoon
Subs not used: Cracknell, Langmead, Lees, Stewart
Goals: Knowles 5, 33, Emmett 17, 22, Muldoon 30, Williams 37, 75
Bradford City: Sykes-Kenworthy, Devine (Darke 35), Wood, Trialist, Hefele, Isherwood, Patrick (Powell 41), Peters, Clare (Brukener 76), Hudson, Robinson
Subs not used: Gunner, Trialist
Goals: Clare 59, 66