Harrogate Railway Athletic 3-2 Lancaster City

LANCASTER City suffered their second consecutive league defeat on Saturday as Harrogate Railway edged a five goal thriller.

It was a thriller with more spills than thrills as the Dolly Blues contrived to miss the target more times than they hit it in a ninety minutes where they should have done better.

Goals either side of the break for the home side seemed to give them a deserved win but City showed a good fighting spirit to claw their way back into it.

Rail captain Liam Gray made them pay when he tapped in Colin Hunter’s cross after City left themselves woefully short at the back.

It could, and should, have been two nil to the visitors inside five minutes as Max Rothwell and Dave Swarbrick both had clear cut chances and fired wide and high respectively.

Rothwell burst through after Nigel Danby missed a defensive header and Alex Meaney deftly brought the ball down and slipped a delightful pass into his path, his side-footed shot went wide of the right hand post.

Meaney then found space for Swarbrick who had open ground to advance into the box but instead chose to shoot and cleared the bar.

Meaney was particularly wasteful striking high and wide on four separate occasions in the first half-hour.

Martin Fearon was in typically inspired form spectacularly denying Thomas Lee, Paul Beesley and Colin Hunter shots from outside the box before Luke Durham painfully shot wide from six yards after a shot from Gray fell kindly for him in the box.

Inevitably the home side struck, Lewis Nightingale accepted a free ticket into the Dolly Blue box and was again denied by Fearon.

This time the resulting corner eventually found its way to Dan Thirkell at the back post who powerfully headed home.

Straight after the restart some schoolboy defending saw Rail pull two ahead. A long ball was missed in the air by Jack Duggan; he then let Beesley continue a straight run directly into the box to pick up Durham’s flick and volley home.

Danny Hattersley hit back for the Dolly Blues with a good close range header after he was pushed up front.

It was again a header from close range that drew City level; Dodgson flicked a goal bound header from Duggan over Craig Parry.

With just four minutes on the clock a point would have been a steal but it wasn’t to be as a wave of Rail players countered from a cleared corner and Gray eventually sealed the three points for his side.

Harrogate Railway Athletic: Parry, Thirkell, Morris, Danby (Shepherd 27), Harratt, Gray, Lee (Palfrey 63), Nightingale, Beesley (Morris 75), Durham, Hunter

Sub not used: Brown

Lancaster City: Fearon 8, Henry 5 (Clark 75), Elderton 5, Duggan 5, Marshall 5, Kenyon 5, Hattersley 8, Wills 5, Swarbrick 6, Meaney 7 (Dodgson 62), Rothwell 6

Subs not used: Gregson, Hall, McKenna