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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Harrogate 1 - 0 United

The return to Harrogate for the rearranged fixture

16 February 2021

United's first ever meeting with Harrogate Town is, actually, technically their second - but that initial encounter was, of course, curtailed after 10 minutes as a weather affected pitch started to freeze over as the night time temperatures dipped.

And the seemingly doomed encounter hit the skids again when the Blues went there the second time round, with a catastrophic electricity failure leaving the stadium in darkness and the team on the bus. 

United's first game in a fortnight brought Ethan Walker, George Tanner and Brennan Dickenson into the starting line up, with Dickenson making his first start for the club.

Tanner was a welcome sight as he returned to the fold following a two-month lay-off with a nasty shoulder injury.

A heavy deluge of rain ahead of kick off left the ground staff with work to do as they deployed the rollers to remove large patches of standing water.

The early exchanges saw the ball stick on the damp surface as passes were made, but both sets of players adjusted to deal with the inconvenience.

Harrogate sent the first jab of the encounter with five minutes on the clock when Thomson whipped a low free kick from a tight angle into the mix. It was cleared and Alessandra completed the defensive work as he shielded the loose ball.

A huge throw from Kayode found Bennett on the move in the box, and his touch was nodded onwards by Anderton. It fell nicely for the keeper who was quickly off his line.

A slide rule pass from the mobile Kayode was almost perfect for Dickenson as he raced through as United looked to pick up the pace. That came after a neat exchange of passes between Anderton and Walker, but Belshaw was once again quickly off his line.

Alessandra almost capitalised on a poor kick out from the home stopper moments later, but his attempt at a chip from 23-yards floated onto the roof of the nets.

The hosts broke from the goal kick and Thomson had an effort charged down on the edge of the box. It spilled for Falkingham and he put his boot through it as it bobbled his way. It had power but it flashed past the upright.

United crafted a swift break on 24 minutes which saw Dickenson surge into space. He fed it to Kayode, and he then clipped it through for Alessandra to take. He pulled his man out of position before slotting it back to the forward for a cross, and Dickenson was up to challenge at the back stick. The whistle blew for a foul as he tried to finish it off.

There was drama at the other end as Tanner did well to get the ball to safety with March on his shoulder. The corner took a touch as it came across the face of goal, and it crashed into the Carlisle post before spinning dangerously in the six-yard box. Falkingham jumped but he had it robbed off his head as he looked to make it count. The blue shirts regrouped and the danger was gone.

But it was a short-lived reprieve as pace from March took him into the area. Anderton committed to the challenge and the referee pointed to the spot as the pair tumbled to the floor. Josh March placed the ball and he sent Farman the wrong way to put the home side in the lead.

Excellent keeping from Farman saw him push a hand out to stop a blistering effort from Power as he sprinted forwards when a slice from Guy put him clean through. The ricochet went high and March tried an audacious header from 19-yards. Farman scampered backwards to tip it over the bar.

Carlisle worked their way down the left flank from the kick off at the start of the second half with Kayode, Walker and Guy linking well. The eventual cross from the Preston loanee was charged down and Belshaw made it his.

More probing came when Farman sent the ball long. Walker twisted to give it to Dickenson, but his delivery was also cut out.

Superb, composed work from Guy in midfield saw him step beyond two challenges before nudging a great ball through for Dickenson. He angled for the box, but a flighted toe-poke was comfortable for Belshaw to gather.

Fantastic football from the visitors put Dickenson on the overlap after Walker and Guy had found space. His cross on the sprint whisked past everyone, but Tanner was there to recover it. He picked out Kayode but the offside flag was raised.

Ozzy Zanzala came on for Alessandra just before the hour and he was immediately involved as he latched onto a clearance on the halfway line. He bent his run to make room for the shot but it skewed off his boot and the keeper allowed it to go on its way.

A close-range thunderbolt from Martin had to be blocked as he arrowed it at the top corner, with March having bullied his way to the byline in the build up.

United should have been back on terms on 63 minutes when a throw from Kayode came to Walker. He swung a leg at the loose pieces, but he scuffed it and it skimmed towards Zanzala. He tried to guide it at the bottom corner but his touch took it straight at Belshaw.

Another Kayode launch was met by Bennett, and Zanzala also made the slightest of connections. Anderton lurked but he couldn't find a way through to make it count.

Dickenson then popped a free kick from deep into the area, and Zanzala was there again to try his luck. It was goal bound but it struck Burrell on the thigh and that sent it wide.

A string of corners followed, but the ball just wouldn't fall kindly and Harrogate rode the spell out.

Attack-minded substitutions signalled real intent from Chris Beech as Mellish and Patrick joined the fray with 15 minutes left to play, but Farman was needed as Martin was played clean through. The stopper made a block with his leg and the rebound came off the forward and fell harmlessly behind.

Pace from Patrick almost opened things up as he went on a 60-yard run, but he lost control at the vital moment and the Sulphurites were able to clear. Patrick had a go again in the next phase, this time with a dipping 22-yard effort after Mellish had picked him out. It flew just the wrong side of the angle of the post and bar.

Kayode volleyed wide from an extremely tight angle late in the day, and Zanzala guided a header from a flick from a throw from the forward into Belshaw's hands as he tried to find the roof of the net.

One last throw from Kayode deserved better as it hit the right area, but it somehow made its way through to the keeper without interference from a blue shirt.

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Goals

Harrogate Town - March (28 pen)

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Bookings

Harrogate Town - Francis (66)

Carlisle United - Tanner (76)

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Teams

Harrogate Town - Belshaw, Falkingham (c) (Kerry 84), Smith, Burrell, Thomson, Martin, Hall, Francis (Lawlor 76), March (Beck 71), McPake, Power. Subs - Minter (gk), Kiernan, Kerry, Power.

Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner, Hayden, Bennett, Anderton (c) (Patrick 75), Riley (Mellish 75), Guy, Dickenson, Walker (Toure 64), Alessandra (Zanzala 57), Kayode. Subs - Norman (gk), McDonald, Armer. 

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Match officials

Referee - Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistant Referee 1 - Geoffrey Liddle
Assistant Referee 2 - Graeme Fyvie
Fourth Official - Robert Madley

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Attendance - BCD


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