Harrogate Railway could not prevent Ossett Albion claiming their seventh straight league win at Station View on Saturday afternoon.
The in-form visitors raced to a three goal lead inside the first 25 minutes with Rob Bordman notching his 11th and 12th league goals of the season and Captain Danny South heading in off the post.
Jack Stockdill’s low finish six minutes later gave Harrogate hope but, although unlucky not to further reduce the lead before the break, Railway couldn’t break down a disciplined Ossett side.
Lee Ashforth handed Vincent Dhesi a first start since the attacker sustained a hamstring injury against Northwich Victoria back in October.
Railway couldn’t have wished for a worse start on their return to action as a fairly innocuous clearance in the third minute was missed by Nathaniel Pells, allowing Bordman to race through on goal and lift the ball over Tom Goodwin.
The hosts threatened an immediate response when Lawrance Hunter found space to shoot inside the box but dragged his effort wide of the far post.
Bordman then made Railway pay for not taking the chance as he again latched onto a long ball from the back before rounding Goodwin and rolling into an empty net.
Richard Tracey’s men added a third on 24 minutes through Captain Danny South who beat Goodwin in the air from a long free kick to nod in off the post.
Although three goals down, Railway persistently looked to play on the deck and the approach paid off when Dan Thirkell slid a pass into the feet of Stockdill who quickly created an angle and fired into the bottom right corner.
The hosts sensed another goal, and almost got it, when Ryan Sharrocks sprinted down the right wing and delivered a low cross that was spilled by Bartt Souter at the near post, only to be deflected back into the grateful ‘keeper’s arms before Dhesi could apply the finishing touch.
With under ten minutes to go until the break, Sharrocks again caused havoc on the right, this time crossing towards Stockdill whose finish was well blocked by a covering defender.
Stockdill was at the heart of most of Railway’s good play and almost found a second goal in spectacular fashion as his overhead kick attempt from the edge of the area dropped just over the crossbar.
Railway came close to setting up a frantic end to the game in the 58th minute when a delightful Dhesi back-heel allowed Will Peers to send a shot goalwards from outside the box, although Souter made a good diving save to maintain his teams two goal advantage.
The month without a game then began to show as Railway tired and Ossett became more dominant, with Goodwin needed to save Luke Porritt’s powerful effort headed for his top right corner.
The Harrogate stopper was needed again minutes later as he denied South a second goal of the game; beating away his powerful header from a corner.
Goodwin could only watch, however, as Bordman came close to sealing a hat-trick in the 77th minute; clipping the top of the bar with a lofted effort from way out on the left wing.
Try as they might, Railway couldn’t sustain pressure on the Ossett goal with the Yorkshire opponents threatening on the counter attack in the dying stages and claiming three hard fought away points.
Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, Parkes (Day 60), Hunter, Pells (Low 45), Horne, Thirkell, Sharrocks, Peers, Dhesi (Bromley 67), Stockdill, Mason
Subs not used: Ibrahimi, Wood
Goals: Stockdill 31
Booked: Parkes, Stockdill
Ossett Albion: Souter, Dawson, Hardaker, Thompson (Walker 56), Riordan, South, Brunt (Thompson 55), Paylor, Bordman, Matthews (Bower 77), Porritt
Subs not used: Nicholson, Ndlovu
Goals: Bordman 3, 16, South 24
Referee: M. Dicicco