Harrogate Town boss upset at late Hyde equaliser

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver rued poor defending against long throw-ins as his side were held late on by bottom side Hyde on Saturday.

Thursday, 19th March 2015, 6:20 pm
Harrogate Town striker Paul Clayton (Craig Hurle)
Harrogate Town striker Paul Clayton (Craig Hurle)

Hyde could have been relegated with a defeat but a goal in the third minute of stoppage time kept their faint hopes alive.

Paul Clayton had fired Town in front from close range eight minutes before half-time, but the relegation contenders ruined Weaver’s hopes of a third straight league win when Perry Ng scrambled home an equaliser.

Weaver had to make one change as Cecil Nyoni was ruled out through illness and Adam Nowakowski took his place.

Hyde’s, Ed Wilczynski was far the busier keeper in the first half and had to race off his line to smother shots from Fallowfield and Jordan Thewlis before punching a Paddy McLaughlin free kick clear.

Town, however, were not to be denied and on 37 minutes, Fallowfield intercepted Josh Brizell’s poor pass and squared for Paul Clayton to easily tap in.

In the dying embers of the half, Town thought they had scored again when Clayton’s close range effort appeared to cross the line but Referee Backhouse bizarrely ordered a dropped ball.

Town had a scare early in the second half when Peter Crook slipped while dealing with a long clearance but the ball rolled over the deadball line before Erike Sousa could take advantage. Fallowfield then sent Clayton clear on goal but once again Wilczynski saved the day.

Hyde then survived a series of Town corners, but the introduction of subs,Lee Gregory and Ryan Masterson gave them a much needed cutting edge.

A flashing drive from Gregory forced Crook to tip over the bar and Masterson won a couple of headers which Town’s defence easily dealt with.

Ashley Worsfold and Dom Rowe replaced Nowakowski and Thewlis, and Worsfold soon had a chance when Emmett cashed in on a defensive mistake to play him in, but once again the keeper made the save.

Deep into injury time, James Burke’s throw in over the Town defence was centred across goal and Crook’s palm away landed on the head of Perry Ng who knocked it in.

“We were the better side on the day but there are three areas we need to improve on,” said Weaver, whose side welcome Colwyn Bay to the CNG Stadium on Saturday.

“We need to defend throw-ins better, be a bit more composed on the ball, and finish off our chances in the final third.”

Clayton has now scored four goals in Town colours and Weaver he wanted to extend his move from Conference side Alfreton, which runs out on March 31.

Weaver added: “He’s a work horse, but he scores as well He has been a focal point of what we are doing and we have already spoken to Alfreton.

“We would like to take over his deal to make sure he remains with us.”

Meanwhile, Town favourite Craig Nelthorpe has left permanently to settle down in Australia. He fell out of the Town team in January before joining Buxton on loan last month.