Brackley Town 1-0 Harrogate Town

Louie Swain battles ex-Harrogate Town man Dwayne Samuel (Craig Hurle - Harrogate Town)
Louie Swain battles ex-Harrogate Town man Dwayne Samuel (Craig Hurle - Harrogate Town)

Harrogate Town’s wretched start to 2015 continued with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at St James Park, Brackley.

New signing Andy Gascoigne, who arrived on a month’s loan from Goole AFC last week, made the starting line up in place of fellow new recruit Jamie Milligan.

Milligan captained the side in the Hednesford Town last week, but found himself on the substitute’s bench and Dave McGurk resumed duties as captain after recovering from illness.

Harrogate made the brighter start and Louis Swain’s early shot ricocheted to Gascoinge, but he scuffed his shot on the edge of the area.

James Walshaw headed over and a powerful drive from Ryan Fallowfield flew wide after striking ex-Colwyn Bay boss Frank Sinclair, who was making his Brackley debut.

Brackley began to get into the game and Greg Kaziboni fired a warning shot across Town’s bows after picking up a pass from Ebby Nelson-Addy.

Harrogate failed to heed the warning and on 22 minutes a clever flick from Ryan Rowe sent Kaziboni down the left flank, he reached the bye line and his cut back found the unmarked Nelson-Addy shot sidefooted past Phil Barnes.

Town retaliated strongly and a tremendous strike by Ryan Fallowfield brought out a brilliant save from Billy Turley who managed to turn the ball away for a corner.

Just before the break the home goal had a charmed life with the Brackley defence making a series of desperate blocks, culminating in ex Townie, Dwayne Samuels, clearing off the line, although the small Harrogate contingent behind the goal were convinced that the ball had crossed the line, an opinion later backed up by photographic evidence.

Town kept up the pressure in the second half with Adam Nowakowski heading over from a Fallowfield corner and Lewis Turner shooting at Turley.

Although Harrogate continued to create chances their finishing left a lot to be desired with Walshaw and Leigh Franks shooting high over the bar and Paul Clayton heading wide from a Swain cross.

Jake Speight,Jordan Thewlis and Jamie Milligan were late substitutions as Town sought a leveller, but it was Brackley who were next to threaten with Nelson-Addy testing Barnes from 25 yards and a dangerous run by Davis Moyo only being ended by a superb tackle from Dave McGurk.

Despite two late runs from Thewlis and an effort from Walshaw, Brackley easily lasted out the five minutes added time to send Harrogate off on their long journey home without a point.