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Match Reports

Leamington 1 Town 3

10 February 2018

Match Reports

Leamington 1 Town 3

10 February 2018

Harrogate Town moved to within two points of the league leaders, and matched their points tally from last season, with a 3-1 win at Leamington.

Mark Beck's only goal of the first half put Town a goal to the good, though that advantage was cancelled out eight minutes after the restart through Liam Canavan's finish.

Within two minutes the lead was restored as Liam Kitching claimed the first goal of his senior career at the back post when George Thomson's corner wasn't cleared, before Dom Knowles put further distance between the sides poking past Tony Breeden in the 76th minute.

The hosts did have the chance to set up a frantic finale with a 79th minute penalty, but James Belshaw kept out Canavan's spot kick to send Town home with all three points.

Simon Weaver made three changes from Tuesday night's trip to Billericay as Louie Swain and Mark Beck returned to the starting XI, while John McCombe made his Town debut.

Dom Knowles went close to putting his side ahead after eight minutes when collecting Joe Leesley's cross and shooting on the turn towards the bottom left corner, though Tony Breeden made a good save to keep the scores level.

Warren Burrell was next to try his luck, but couldn't keep his left footed effort under the cross bar after Knowles' clever back-heel.

Town claimed the opening goal of the contest after 31 minutes when Jack Emmett drove to the byline and sent a low cross into the area that Beck was able to convert at the near post with a clever finish.

George Thomson tried doubling his side's lead soon after, but was stopped by Breeden's near post stop that ensured Town only carried a one goal lead into the half time break.

Town's lead was cancelled out eight minutes after the restart in what must have been one of the quickest goals ever scored by a substitute.

No sooner than he had replaced Callum Gittings, Canavan followed up Kieran Dunbar's free kick and was presented with an open goal after James Belshaw's save fell to the Leamington man's feet.

The sides were only level for two minutes though as Thomson's corner escaped everyone inside a crowded box and fell to Kitching waiting at the far post to tap home his first career goal.

Emmett nearly claimed Town third shortly after following a quick turn and even quicker accelaration the midfield, though Breeden kept out the midfielder's low drive.

With under 20 minutes to play Town had Belshaw to thank for leeping their lead in tact after the stopper tipped James Mace's point blank header over the bar.

Canavan was then presented with a golden opportunity to level after both Belshaw and Leesley had kept Leamington efforts out of the net, but the substitute blazed over from eight yards after Leesley's block had fell his way.

From the resulting goal kick Knowles found himself in behind the Leamington defence and able to poke the ball past the advancing Breeden to put his side two goals ahead.

The contest had sprung into life and took another twist three minutes later when referee Scott Simpson awarded the hosts a penalty after Kitching had misjudged a challenge inside the box.

Substitute Canavan stepped up but saw his kick kept out by Belshaw down to the stopper's left.

With that penalty save went the life of Leamington's comeback, and it was Town who looked more likely to change the score late on as Leesley went close in the dying stages, though no more goals arrived and Town returned home with all three points.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Burrell, Swain, Falkingham (Agnew 80), Kitching, McCombe, Thomson, Emmett, Beck (Ainge 82), Knowles (Thewlis 76), Leesley

Subs not used: Cracknell, Middleton

Goals: Beck 31, Kitching 55, Knowles 76

Leamington: Breeden, Mace, Gudger, Magunda (Obeng 70), Hood, English, Dunbar, Clarke, Udoh, Gittings (Canavan 52), Felix (Taundry 70)

Subs not used: Revan, Moore

Goals: Canavan 53

Referee: S Simpson

Attendance: 412

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