Harrogate Town gained their second victory of the season with a hard fought win over Stalybridge, writes John Harrison.
Town were unchanged from Saturday’s long trip to Lowestoft and they were quickly out of the blocks and Rhys Meynell’s deep cross provided an early opportunity for James Walshaw who headed wide.
Celtic were playing some attractive football,but the Town defence was in a miserly mood and their attacks petered out against the twin barriers of Matt Heath and Dave McGurk.
On 21 minutes Town scored the only goal of the game when Jake Speight’s pass found Meynell in space and his centre to the far post was met by Walshaw, who beat Lewis King with a looping header.
Celtic retaliated strongly and the dangerous James Cadman was only inches high with a vicious drive.
The second half opened with Walshaw firing narrowly over from the edge of the area and Town won several free kicks as Celtic were pushed back, but King competently dealt with them all.
Dominic Rowe replaced the tiring Speight and Jonathan Margetts made way for Adam Nowakowski,but it was Celtic who took the initiative.
Paul Ennis brought out an excellent save from Phil Barnes and when Barnes was eventually beaten by Liam Dickinson’s lob into the far corner,the offside flag came to Town’s rescue.
With five minutes left,Town brought on Louis Swain for Ryan Kendall and he worried the visiting defence with some powerful runs down the left.
As the game entered six minutes of added time,the Celtic full timers laid seige to the Town goal and Aidan Chippendale found Enni.
But luckily for Town, his shot rebounded clear from the inside of the post..