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Match Reports

Town 2 Billericay 2

3 February 2018

Match Reports

Town 2 Billericay 2

3 February 2018

Harrogate Town will travel to Billeracay on Tuesday night to determine who will progress to the FA Trophy Quarter Finals after an entertaining 2-2 draw at The CNG Stadium.

Rob Swain opened the scoring with a towering header after 11 minutes, but Joe Leesley levelled within a matter of seconds curling into the top corner from the left wing.

Another Leesley stunner put Town ahead just past the hour mark, but Billericay levelled six minutes later through Adam Cunnington's flicked finish.

Terry Kennedy thought he had won it for Town late on as his prod towards goal clipped the inside of the post and rolled agonizingly across the line and out as the two sides could not be seperated.

Simon Weaver named the same starting XI that beat AFC Telford 2-1 last weekend, with Simon Ainge partnering Dom Knowles up front.

The first chance of the afternoon went the way of the visitors as Jake Robinson got in between Ben Parker and Terry Kennedy before getting his shot away, but James belshaw made a good save to his left.

Ricay then took the lead after 11 minutes when Jamie O'Hara floated a cross into the box from deep that Swain met in the air ahead of Belshaw to head into an emprty net.

Town responded within seconds though as Leesley produced an almost exact replica of his goal against Telford, cutting in on his right foot and bending into the top corner.

Weaver's side threatened to take the lead ten minutes later through the unlikely source of Ben Parker, who had burst forward and played a one-two with Knowles before shooting over.

After a fast start, the contest began to edge towards being more of a cagey affair, though Robinson's low volley in the closing minutes of the half did force another good save from Belshaw.

Town tried to recapture the pace of the opening 15 minutes at the start of the second half as an intricate Josh Falkingham pass found Jack Emmett, but the midfielder's cross flashed past the face of goal.

Harrogate were having the majority of the play and almost edged ahead on the hour mark as George Thomson's left footed effort from the egde of the box was cleared from the line.

Four minutes later Leesley produced another piece of magic on the left wing, beating Alan Julian from range on his so called weaker right foot.

Just as Town did in the first half, Billericay produced an almost instant leveller as Sam Deering's shot bounced up off the turf and was flicked past Belshaw by Cunnington.

The momentum had swung the way of the visitors who were denied a lead for the second time of the afternoon by a spectacular Belshaw save as the Town stopper blocked Robinson's powerful strike from close range.

The introduction of  Jordan Thewlis and Mark Beck showed Town's intentions to win the tie rather than travel South for a Tuesday night replay, but it was Terry kennedy who nearly provided the winner as his prod towards goal clipped the inside of the upright and rolled agonizingly across the line.

Town's substitutes could not find an elusive winner, with the two sides now set to meet again on Tuesday night at Billericay.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Middleton, Parker, Falkingham, Kennedy, Burrell, Thomson (Beck 84), Emmett, Ainge, Knowles (Thewlis 74), Leesley

Subs not used: Kitching, Cracknell, Agnew

Goals: Leesley 11, 64

Booked: Middleton

Billericay Town: Julian, Kizzi, Urquhart, Inman, Swain, Deering, Modeste (Bricknell 82), O'Hara, Butcher (Waldren 88), Robinson, Cunnington

Subs not used: Wheeler, Paine, Watt

Goals: Swain 11, Cunnington 70

Booked: Swain, Cunnington, Julian

Referee: P Gibbons

Attendance: 846

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