Harrogate Railway: Swain Strike Seals Trophy for Town (Hal Boxhall-Dockree, photos Mark Doherty)

Swain Strike Seals Trophy for Town

Town got the better of Railway in the battle of Harrogate on Saturday afternoon, lifting the John Smith’s trophy courtesy of a 1-0 win. Louie Swain’s 57th minute goal was the difference between the two neighbouring clubs on an afternoon of torrential rain at the CNG Stadium.

The two sides played out a 2-2 draw this time last year, however, 2015’s encounter got off to a slow start with the 410 supporters that had braved the August downpour having to wait until midway through the first half to see a shot on target. The half soon livened up with Town attacking regularly through Swain on the left wing but struggling to find a way past Railway’s disciplined defence.

Swain did eventually make the breakthrough in the second half, dispatching a low free kick delivery into the bottom corner and giving Town the lead. Railway committed players forward looking for a way back into the game but couldn’t find an equaliser as both sides made multiple changes with the game drawing to a close.

Although leaving empty handed, there were plenty of positives for Lee Ashforth to take away, not least the performance of Tom Goodwin in the Railway goal. The towering stopper made a series of saves to keep Town’s lead within reach, including one spectacular effort, getting down low to his left to tip Dominic Knowles powerful effort onto the bar. Ahead of Goodwin, there were some encouraging performances in Railway’s defence with Jason Mycoe keeping Town striker Paul Clayton quiet and making a number of important clearances while right back Simon Parkes made a number of timely interceptions and blocks up against Town’s dangerous attack.

Two pre-season fixtures remain for Railway, starting with a trip to Knaresborough on Tuesday night and ending with a home tie against Field AFC on Saturday on the same day Town get their National League North campaign underway with a trip to Brackley Town.

 

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