Knaresborough Town AFC 1 Harrogate Railway 1
Harrogate Railway faced another local team on Tuesday night after Saturday’s clash with Harrogate Town; drawing 1-1 with Knaresborough Town at Manse Lane.
An underwhelming first half for the visitors saw Knaresborough take a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Graham Whitehead’s deflected goal, although it could have been more.
Railway responded well in the second 45 with Greg Kidd levelling the score just five minutes after the interval and Harrogate looking a much better team.
Lee Ashforth opted for a change in formation for the visit, lining his Railway side up with a back three of Jack McCarthy, Jason Mycoe and Alex Low, while rests were given to Jack Stockdill and Lawrance Hunter.
Knaresborough started positively and looked to test Tom Goodwin at every opportunity; however, the stopper was positioned well to twice make comfortable saves from Eustance in the opening 25 minutes.
Cameron Lynn, meanwhile, had looked dangerous for the visitors and almost set up the opener when Low’s header from the winger’s corner flashed agonizingly across the face of goal.
Another headed set piece chance fell to Railway just minutes later as Dan Thirkell rose highest and headed Charlie Clamp’s free kick narrowly wide of the upright.
A Railway goal would have been harsh on The Boro though, and the NCEL Division One side deservedly took the lead after 37 minutes, albeit in fortunate circumstances.
Eustance had carried the ball down the right flank and smartly picked out Whitehead who cannoned a low shot of Mycoe’s legs and past a wrong-footed Goodwin.
The hosts then came inches away from doubling their lead with four minutes of the half to play when Walker’s curling shot from all of 20 yards clipped the outside of the post and went wide.
Far from happy with his side’s performance, Lee Ashforth sent Railway out for the second half with a purpose, and the visitors delivered an equaliser within five minutes of the restart.
Lynn put his head down and powered his way to the by-line before sending a low cross towards Kidd who got ahead of the defence and scrambled home.
Railway came close to taking the lead just after the hour mark with an almost exact replica of Low’s chance in the first half. Lynn produced another superb corner delivery that Low met with his head, but again the defender had to watch his attempt whistle past the far post.
Unlike the first half, Knaresborough were now struggling to sustain their attacks and the closest they came to adding to their tally came courtesy of an ambitious 40 yard punt that nearly looped into the far corner.
Railway continued to search for a winner, with Lynn’s influence in the game ever increasing as the winger’s direct dribbling from the right wing caused problems for Knaresborough’s defence.
It was substitute Ryan Sharrocks, however, who almost forced a way through Knaresborough’s defence after his low cross looked to have been deflected into the net only for Knaresborough’s last line of defence to hook the ball off the line and away.
Overall, a draw was a fair reflection of the contest with Railway starting slowly but looking the more likely to win as the game wore on.
Next up for Harrogate is a final pre-season friendly against Field AFC who make the trip to Station View on Saturday, one week before Railway’s 2015/16 league campaign gets underway.
Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, Low, McCarthy, Mycoe, Kidd (Outerbridge 60), Thirkell, Beeston (Parkes 64), Clamp (Brown 79), Fogarty (Sharrocks 60), Dhesi (Barrett 54), Lynn
Goals: Kidd 50
Knaresborough Town: Weatherill, Pascal, Rodgers, Bradley, Wilson, McCrum, Eustance, Parkes, Walker, Wilson, Whitehead
Subs: Joyce, Hobson, Lees, Hickey, Donaghue, Dverden, Clare
Goals: Whitehead 37
Referee: M. Sowerby
Words: Hal Boxhall-Dockree