Harrogate Town 2-1 Gloucester City
Simon Clark at Harrogate
Jordan Thwelis’ excellent second half double secured Harrogate Town victory despite a valiant Gloucester City display.
Sahr Kabba scored on his comeback into the Tigers line-up, but despite enjoying large spells of the game, it was a back-to-back defeat for Tim Harris’ side.
City could’ve easily come away with a point or more as Femi Orenuga’s smashed an effort against the underside of the crossbar, and Kabba was unlucky not to add a second but couldn’t manoeuvre to slot home from three yards.
With the sun shining on a balmy Spring afternoon in North Yorkshire, it took until the eleventh minute for the game to come alive with Adam Connolly’s daisycutter going wide.
The Tigers continued on top as Harry White brilliantly skilled Leigh Franks inside out but his effort fired wide.
Harrogate attempted to make a mark on the game as Ryan Fallowfield’s deep cross troubled Paul White but the Irishman had it covered.
A wonderful chance fell to Chris Knowles on the half hour who headed a Billy Jones corner wide with real power.
Tigers skipper Jack Harris was forced off just before the break through injury, with Fallowfield firing at White from range to end a rather subdued first half.
Ross Staley, fresh off his first Tigers goal last weekend, thrashed an effort over the bar as the Tigers began the second period on top.
But Fallowfield, Harrogate’s main attacking outlet despite being their right back, had another opportunity at goal but an excellent Matt Williams block stopped the shot en route.
Shortly after Harrogate took the lead, Jack Emmett played in Louie Swain who dragged the ball back into Thwelis’ path and the striker blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
Town could’ve doubled their lead on the hour but Paul Clayton fluffed his lines in front of goal as Tim Harris’ men breathed a sigh of relief.
That relief was short lived as with the next attack Thwelis winded his way through two tackles on the byline and fired clinically inside the near post.
Manager Harris rolled the dice with speed over height as Nathan Modest and Femi Orenuga came on, with the latter almost making an immediate impact but his effort bounced down off the underside of the bar and away.
Ross Staley was next to try his luck forcing Peter Crook into an uncomfortable save with Kabba closing in.
The pressure paid off with 15 minutes remaining, Connolly’s powerful drilled shot was saved by Crook and Kabba was there to head home to cut the deficit.
An equaliser teased Kabba after a Knowles flick on but the hotshot striker couldn’t move his body quickly enough to convert from three yards.
Two half chances came the way of Orenuga but neither really threatened as the Tigers searched in vain for an equaliser that never came.
Harrogate Town: P. Crook, R. Fallowfield, L. Swain, L. Franks (A. Nowakowski 45), L. Turner, M. Bloomer, C. Nyoni, P. McLaughlin, P. Clayton, J. Thewlis (J. Speight 75), J. Emmett
Subs not used: J. Walshaw, A. Worsfold, P. Walker
Goals: Thwelis 55, 64
Gloucester City: P. White, M. Green, B. Jones, J. Harris (M. Williams 44), S. Avery, C. Knowles, A. Connolly, H. White (N. Modest 66), M. Diop (F. Orenuga 66), S. Kabba, R. Staley
Subs not used: M. Richards, S. Hamilton
Goals: Kabba 74