Town kicked off their campaign in fine style with a 7-0 home victory over neighbours Knaresborough Town.
Goals from Joe Leesley, Mark Beck, Jack Muldoon, Josh Falkingham, Brendan Kiernan and a double from George Thomson delivered a comprehensive first performance of the season that saw all of Simon Weaver’s squad see significant playing time.
Weaver handed Town debuts in his starting line-up to five of his summer signings, George Smith, Connor Hall, Scott Brown, Sam Jones and Jon Stead.
And it was Jones who had the first chance for Town but couldn’t find his way past the Knaresborough defence and saw his shot from close range blocked.
Fellow new boy Hall also went close with a near-post header before Joe Leesley opened the scoring with a trademark left footed drive from distance after nine minutes.
Knaresborough responded well though to the early setback with Luke Stewart and Luke Harrop both testing Joe Cracknell in the Town goal to provide notice of their threat.
As the half wore on though the hosts began to show their quality going forward with Jones a constant threat to the opposition defence, showing signs of a promising partnership with Stead. Jones was first denied by the outside of the post after rounding the goalkeeper before heading just over when well placed.
Town’s dominance was rewarded late in the half though as excellent play down the left hand side involving Smith, Leesley and Stead saw Thomson twice slot home from close range to see the hosts go in at the half a with a deserved 3-0 lead.
As expected, Town rang the changes at the half with eight introductions, including a first look at summer recruits Will Smith and Brendan Kiernan.
One of those players introduced at the break, Mark Beck, made an immediate impact heading home powerfully with his first touch from Ryan Fallowfield’s cross.
Despite the number of changes made, Town continued where they had left off at the end of the first half with two goals in quick succession putting them 6-0 up. Jack Muldoon’s found space on multiple occasions, first setting up Josh Falkingham before finding the net himself to put the result beyond any doubt.
As Knaresborough continued to tire, Kiernan showed glimpses of why he could become a fan favourite this season as he teased the opposition defence he capped a fine evening when he struck a well hit penalty after Muldoon had been brought down in the 85th minute.
After a positive opening game, Town next welcome Darlington to the CNG Stadium this Friday, 12th July.
Harrogate Town: Cracknell, Fallowfield, G. Smith, Howe (c), Thomson, Jones, Leesley, Stead, Kerry, Hall, Brown.
Knaresborough Town Starting XI: Rushworth, Powis, Anderson, Lendom, Kidd. Wilson, Cooler, Baker, Walker, Stewart, Harrop.
Harrogate Town: Cracknell, Fallowfield (Barker), G. Smith (Wicks), Burrell, Falkingham, Trialist, W.Smith, Haswell, Kiernan, Muldoon, Beck.
Goals: Leesley (9), Thomson (39, 45), Beck (46), Falkingham (59), Muldoon (60), Kiernan (85).
Rdport by Danny Pugsley