Hall Road Rangers 3, Harrogate Railway 1
Saturday August 26
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
By Ollie Harsley
Photograph supplied by Lee Myers
PHOTO: Danny Norton looks to pose some questions for the Harrogate defence on Saturday. Norton netted the equaliser as his side powered to a 3-1 win
HALL Road Rangers claimed their first win of the season in the NCEL Premier Division at the fourth time of asking after two previous draws and opening day defeat.
It was a patched up Rangers side with Hall Road boss Dave Ricardo without as many as five first team regulars. Sam Thames was drafted in from the reserves at left back whilst they were also starts for Kent Bannister and midweek hero Matty Crane.
Josh Tennant was named amongst the substitutes as he looks to build his match sharpness, whilst they were also run-outs from the bench for Alex Stock and Jacob Tood who made their senior first team debuts after impressing in the reserves.
Joe Piercy was the unused goalkeeper substitute, another player plucked from Rangers second string, a further sign the future of the club is bright.
Hall Road had to really work for their win especially in the first hour, but ultimately in the end became a comfortable win as goals from Danny Norton, Crane and Gareth Owen meant Jason Price’s opener for the visitors proved academic.
Harrogate Railway their visitors provided a tough test for Hall Road as they pressed high up the pitch and didn’t allow any of the players to have too much time on the ball.
Former Hull City player Jason Price was a nuisance up front for the visitors, and caused all sorts of problems for Hall Road’s defence but they came through it relatively unscathed.
There were many half chances in the first period but that’s all that they were as neither side could really be clinical enough in front of goal.
Harrogate took the lead in the 42nd minute through a well taken finish from Jason Price who ultimately deserved to get onto the scoresheet after his work and endeavour throughout the first half.
He brought down a cross superbly with his first touch, turning James Piercy in the process and firing into the top far corner with his following touch from inside the six yard box
Hall Road hit back in first half stoppage time as Danny Norton’s chipped shot clipped the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line.
It took a few moments for the officials to confirm the goal as Matty Crane netted the rebound, but a goal was given for Norton’s original strike to restore parity.
The second half was a better spectacle as more clear cut chances were being created and Hall Road began to take a hold of the game.
They led for the first time in the contest, after Matty Crane scored when teed up by Danny Norton’s teasing run on the right hand side in the 62nd minute.
Rangers then made it 3-1 in the 72nd minute when Gareth Owen got on the end of a Danny Norton cross to tap home.
Hall Road continued to press for more goals as substitute Alex Stock, who looked promising in his senior bow, saw his speculative shot tipped over the crossbar by the Harrogate goalkeeper.
Both sides gave it all they had, but in the end Hall Road deserved the win based on their second half performance.
A win which will be encouraging to Dave Ricardo and Bill Gill that their side still managed to win despite them not being at their best with half of their first team squad missing.