Town win away as Rail’ suffer at home

tis  Railway Athletic v Harrogate Town. John Smiths Cup. Number 10.  (120801M4c)
tis Railway Athletic v Harrogate Town. John Smiths Cup. Number 10. (120801M4c)

Harrogate Town made a super start to the new Blue Square North season, winning 2-0 away at Hinckley United.

Chib Chilaka netted the first before Shane Killock added the second in the second half.

Town will look to secure their first home win of the campaign when they welcome Altrincham to the CNG Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

Neighbours Harrogate Railway meanwhile suffered a grim start to the new Evo-Stik League season, beaten 4-1 at home to New Mills in the First Division North.

At 2-1 down, the Station View men lost ‘keeper Jordan Yorath to a questionable red card midway through the second half, and after that Railway were never at the races.

New Mills had defender David Chadwick red-carded during the same incident, but after Yorath departed they were awarded a penalty to go 3-1 up.

With Lee Ashforth slotted in between the sticks it was always going to be tough for Rail’ to pull it back, and a fourth goal with ten minutes remaining killed off any hope they had of salvaging something from the game.

New Mills were quickly out of the blocks in the opening minutes, and Railway struggled to stamp any authority on the game in the early exchanges.

Mills’ winger Carlos Meakin shaved the post in the third minute after a David Fitzpatrick corner, before Fitzpatrick drew a great save out of Yorath with a decent centre.

Gradually Rail got going, midfielder Paddy McGuire delivering a quality ball into the box but nobody got on the end of it.

Winger Greg Kidd was working hard to supply striker Nathan Cartman and Jon Maloney with the ball, and then Phil Myles set up Jon Maloney for a shot which he directed over the bar.

Kidd then turned suppier for Myles, only to see the ball land on top of James Coates’ net, before Kidd himself shot over the bar despite McGuire being in clear space to shoot home.

Railway then gave the ball away on the wing and New Mills pounced. A sloppy pass allowed Steven Moore to intercept and slam home the opener after 32 minutes.

But credit to the hosts, they upped their game and in the last ten minutes of the first half peppered the New Mills goals with shots.

And Rail’ looked to have secured the equaliser when Maloney’s shot rebounded off the bar and ‘keeper into Myles’ path.

His shot slammed into the net but the goal was disallowed as Maloney had been deemed offside.

Rail’ kept working but the score remained 1-0 to the visitors at the break.

However, a minute into the second stanza they were back on level terms.

A sublime ball received by Maloney saw the striker fire home in acres of space.

McGuire then went close after a cross into the box from Cartman, but couldn’t stretch to it in time.

Yorath then denied winger Luke Horrocks two chances, but in the 68th minute Railway conceded a corner.

A great ball in by Fitzpatrick saw defender Michael Bowles head home past Yorath from close range, and Mills were back in the lead.

And they had another chance to punish Rail’ in the set piece with another corner, but this one saw the game change entirely.

Yorath punched away the ball, but in the melee that followed, he was deemed to have pushed or shoved defender David Chadwick who shoved him back.

Referee Ian Gittins blew his whistle, and showed Yorath the red card, followed by another for Chadwick.

It seemed an extreme reaction to an understandably physical encounter, and could have been settled by two yellows at most.

Now both sides were down to 10, Railway boss Billy Miller replaced Myles a with assistant and former Rail’ goalkeeper Lee Ashforth because Gittins had no choice but to award Mills a penalty.

Fitzmaurice’s 75th minute spot kick down the centre was little more than a formality and Railway were now 3-1 down.

At sixes and sevens and clearly unsettled by the bizarre turn of events, Railway could not refind their rhythm.

Mills repeatedly split open the defence and Ashforth was beaten again when Moore fired home his second of the afternoon with a low drive with about five minutes remaining.

Ashforth then pulled off a great save and tipped the ball over the bar to deny Meakin as Gittins played about 10 minutes injury time. But Railway were unable to get anything from it and New Mills departed with three points and a 4-1 scoreline they never really deserved.

Meantime TADCASTER ALBION lost 5-1 away at Brighouse Town. Chris Kamara netted for Tad in the NCEL Premier.

Harrogate Railway: Jordan Yorath, Simon Wood, Jerome White, Dan Thirkell, Jake Lawlor, Jon Maloney, Patrick McGuire (Simon Parkes) Phil Myles (Lee Ashforth, Nathan Cartman, Colin Hunter (Danny Hull), Greg Kidd; Dave Ward.

New Mills: James Coates, Jordan Armstrong, David Fitzpatrick, Michael Bowler, David Chadwick, Liam Millen, Carlos Meakin, Christopher Young, Martin Ormerher, Steven Moore, Luke Horrocks; Ross Needham, Russell Headley, Matthew Cotton.

Cards: Yorath red, Chadwick red, Armstrong yellow