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Harrogate Town News
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U23s and U21s Face off at CNG Stadium

On Monday 13th January Town U21s played host to Town U23s, meaning a rare visit into the away changing rooms at The CNG Stadium for Josh Falkingham and his side.

Following the recent defeat at Silsden, the 21s were in need of a pick-me-up and a chance to show the post Xmas rust had been vanquished.

On paper it was a tall order against a side still to register a loss and only conceding a solitary goal all season; the performance was always going to be more important than the result.

Within five minutes the 23s had taken the lead through the league’s leading goal scorer Aaron Haswell, his 16th goal of an already prolific campaign.

A quick-fire second soon followed to put the 21s on the back foot, but they pushed forward undeterred and were rewarded with a fine strike by 16-year-old midfielder Joe Navier, who was making his first start for the 21s.

Two further goals followed for the 23s as they looked to exert their superiority on the game, though the 21s thought they had got a second in between with a smart finish from striker Charlie Anderson only for it to be ruled out by the referees assistant for a marginal offside, a decision VAR may well have seen differently.

4-1 at halftime and a mountain to climb in the second 45 for the young 21s side.

For long periods of the second half the 21s frustrated their more experienced counterparts with solid defending and disciplined shape that made them hard to break down while still creating the odd chance for themselves.

As fatigue crept in late in the game, the 23s struck twice to make the final score 6-1, demonstrating the cutting edge needed to make the step up the Town ladder.

Both sides ended with positives to take, the 21s able to take great heart from this disciplined performance, while the 23s ruthless edge in front of goal extended their winning run.

Next week sees the 21s travel to table topping Hemsworth Miners Welfare as January continues to test the young side with a host of difficult fixtures, while the 23s look to head to the summit when they take on Nostell Miners Welfare at The CNG Stadium.