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Match Reports

Gateshead 2 Town 3

4 September 2018

Match Reports

Gateshead 2 Town 3

4 September 2018

Aaron Williams netted an 85th minute winner as Harrogate Town came from behind to beat Gateshead 3-2 and move to the top of the National League.

Dom Knowles gave Town the lead from the penalty spot after George Thomson was brought down, but saw his opener cancelled out by Fraser Kerr's powerful header as the sides went in level.

Steve Rigg struck early in the second half to turn the tie on its head, but Jack Muldoon levelled four minutes later to set up an exciting finish.

With five minutes to play, up popped substitute Williams to divert Warren Burrell's shot past Aynsley Pears and seal an important three points with his first goal for the club.

Simon Weaver named the same squad that put four past Eastleigh on Saturday, while two-goal substitute Mark Beck remained on the bench alongside new arrival Levi Sutton.

Joe Leesley almost rifled in his first goal of the season after six minutes when the winger unleashed a left footed shot from 25 yards, but saw Pears tip over the bar.

Six minutes later the hosts went dangerously close to opening the scoring as Greg Olley's free kick flew towards goal, but was deflected onto the cross bar by the head of Liam Agnew.

With 22 minutes gone in what was an end to end game, Thomson burst into the Gateshead area and was hauled to the ground, causing Referee James Oldham to award the spot kick.

Knowles stepped up and sent the ball down the middle of the goal to claim his fourth of the season and put Town ahead.

Gateshead pulled level ten minutes before the break though, as a corner from the right was attacked by Kerr and headed powerfully into the back of the net by The Heed centre half.

Steve Watson's side had the chance to take the lead minutes into the second half, but Captain Burrell got a crucial touch on Rigg's finish to divert the ball behind.

The hosts' second then arrived in the 52nd minute as an attack down the left resulted in a shot from Scott Boden, that was placed low into the far corner with Rigg providing the decisive touch. 

The lead lasted just four minutes though as Lloyd Kerry bundled his way into the box and offloaded to Muldoon, who fired low past the advancing Pears.

The pendulum swung again with the score level as Gateshead pured men forward desperate to reinstate their advantage, but Elliot Forbes' ambitious, but well hit, strike was blocked by the Town defence.

Boden had a great chance to give his side the lead after a cross from Robbie Tinkller found the former Wrexham man unmarked at the near post, but only able to head wide.

Town responded with an attack of their own as Leesley forced a corner with a near post drive, before crossing towards Callum Howe who saw his downward header caught.

With five minutes to go, Weaver introduced Williams from the bench and the striker was able to restore his Manager's faith turning Burrell's low shot into the back of the net and secure a win that put Town top of The National League standings.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Howe, Burrell, Thomson (Beck 56), Knowles (Williams 83), Leesley, Agnew (Sutton 83), Langmead, Kerry, Muldoon, Kitching

Subs not used: Parker, Cracknell

Goals: Knowles 23 (p), Muldoon 55, Williams 85

Booked: Knowles

Gateshead: Pears, Tinkler, Kerr, Olley, Rigg, Salkeld (Thomson 33), Mellish, White, Forbes, Devitt, Boden

Subs not used: Foden, Barrow, Hunter, Maloney

Goals: Kerr 35, Rigg 52

Booked: Kerr

Referee: J Oldham

Attendance: 846 (149 away)

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