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Match Reports

Blyth Spartans 0 Harrogate Town 2

28 August 2017

Match Reports

Blyth Spartans 0 Harrogate Town 2

28 August 2017

A resolute away performance at Croft Park saw Town come away with a 2-0 win.

Terry Kennedy opened the scoring from close range towards the end of a first half littered with bookings.

Town were then reduced to ten men with ten minutes to play as Jack Vann was shown a straight red card, though Josh Falkingham struck in stoppage time to ensure Town returned home with all three points.

Simon Weaver again named an unchanged starting 11, as Ainge captained the side on his 50th start for the club.

Town were forced to absorb some pressure early on as a fast start from the hosts saw James Belshaw keep out the attempts of Robert Dale and Daniel Maguire.

The visitors brightest early moment came after some near footwork by Jordan Thewlis saw his shot blocked, before George Thomson's rebound was kept out by Peter Jameson.

With just under ten minutes of the half remaining, Joe Leesley came close to handing his side the lead when heading Thomson's corner goalwards, only to see the effort cleared off the line.

The hosts responded by going close themselves as Nathan Buddle's flicked header landed on the roof of the net.

The deadlock was broken four minutes before the interval with a goal fitting of a scrappy, well contested first half.

Thomson's corner was inadvertently turned towards goal by a Spartans defender, and subsequently not cleared, allowing Kennedy to scramble the ball home.

Sean Reid had the chance to level on the stroke of half time, but blasted over from eight yards out.

Leesley almost doubled Town's lead at the start of the second half, but saw his deflected shot saved by Jameson low to his left.

With 57 minutes gone, Jameson was caught well out of his goal and brought down Thewlis with the loose ball running to Leesley faced with only defenders covering the goal, but the referee's whistle denied Town the advantage and the chance of a second.

Town were piling on the pressure and rattled the woodwork on the hour mark as Thomson's right wing shot bounced back off the upright.

With Blyth desperate to salvage a result, crosses came in thick and fast to the Town box, though both Kennedy and Burrell cleared everything that came their way.

With ten minutes renaming Town were reduced to ten men as first half substitute Vann was given his marching orders for a full blooded challenge in midfield.

Blyth were throwing everything they could at Town, but deep into stoppage time Falkingham raced through on goal and slid between the legs of Jameson to seal a hard fought win.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Parker, Falkingham, Kennedy, Burrell, Thomson, Emmett, Ainge (Vann 41), Thewlis (Gooda 82), Leesley 

Subs not used: Day, Cracknell, Middleton

Goals: Kennedy 41, Falkingham 90+3

Booked: Burrell, Falkingham, Leesley, Thomson, Fallowfield 

Sent off: Vann

Blyth Spartans: Jameson, Horner, Liddle, Reid, Buddle, Hutchinson, Rivers, McTiernan (Mullen 82), Maguire, Hopson (Langstaff 69), Dale

Subs  not used: Watson, Butler, MacDonald

Booked: Maguire, McTiernan, Reid, Jameson

Referee: L Doughty

Attendance: 829

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