Connor Hall’s 60th minute strike was enough to seal victory for Town against Maidenhead United in their opening home game of 2020.
The defender broke the deadlock in a tight game and a third consecutive clean sheet helped earn the points that saw Town move upto third place in the National League table.
Unsurprisingly, Simon Weaver named an unchanged starting line-up for the fourth consecutive game following the 100% return over the festive period.
Although Town could consider themselves having had the better of the first half action, the play was largely scrappy with the visitors content to slow the game down. Chances were at a premium too, with Jon Stead’s close range effort after 34 minutes the best opportunity to break the deadlock.
Town were forced into a change at the break with the head injury sustained by Will Smith ending his afternoon, with him being replaced by George Smith.
And Maidenhead immediately profited from some hesitation in the Town defence in the opening seconds of the second half with James Belshaw being forced into a smart save to his left.
The deadlock was ultimately broken by Town though with Hall hitting home from Alex Bradley’s corner, with Bradley’s excellent run down the right having initially created the opportunity.
The goal prompted Weaver to make a further switch with fit-again Mark Beck replacing Jon Stead and Beck’s first action of the game saw him booked for a late challenge.
Falling behind initially sparked some life into the visitors but Town themselves looked to build on their advantage and they almost added a second with both Brendan Kiernan and Lloyd Kerry both denied following a goalmouth scramble in the visitors box.
Town were able to close the game out comfortably during the final minutes after Maidenhead were reduced to nine men with Rene Steer first shown a second yellow card for a foul on Jack Muldoon and Josh Kelly then receiving a straight red for a late challenge on Josh Falkingham.
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Falkingham, Burrell, Emmett (Kiernan 73), Bradley, Stead (Beck 62), Kerry, Muldoon, Hall, W.Smith (G.Smith 45), Diamond
Subs not used: Thomson, Cracknell
Goals: Hall (60)
Maidenhead: Dunn, Clerima, Steer, Ellul, Comley, Cassidy, Whitehall (Kelly 74), Twumasi, Akintunde (Mensah 84), Upward (Fenelon 80), Massey
Subs not used: Davies, Smile
Booked: Comley, Steer, Ellul, Mensah
Sent off: Steer, Kelly
Referee: D Middleton
Attendance: 1,281 (42 away)
Report by Danny Pugsley