Kennedy 45; Ainge 90
Ironside 68; Ironside 90
- All square at The CNG
- Ironside bags two more
- Ainge in the 90th looked to have won it for Town
- Reds respond 90+4
JOE IRONSIDE struck deep in injury time to secure Harriers a fully deserved point in a 2-2 draw at Harrogate Town.
After Harriers had gone behind in first half stoppage time, Ironside's diving header put his team level.
The hosts looked to have snatched a late win when Simon Ainge headed in a 90th minute effort, but Ironside popped up with a fine goal some four minutes later to put an end to a frantic night's football.
It was end-to-end from the off as contrasting styles saw two good sides go at it; early chances seeing Croasdale and Ngwatala go close for Harriers while Ainge and Hudson did so for Town.
Horsfall cleared off the line from Ainge with nine on the clock before Croasdale and Brown went close for Harriers, while the deadlock was almost broken 11 from the break when Thewlis struck the base of the post with a low shot.
Right before the interval, Kennedy nodded in to give Harrogate the lead despite strong shouts for offside.
The second half also started quickly, Weeks clearing off the line at one end before going close with a shot at the other, while on 63 minutes the midfielder almost caught Belshaw out with a cracking shot from just past the half-way line that bounced off the post and away.
Five later, Sonupe's pace and a fine cross supplied Ironside who crashed a diving header into the net.
Both sides then traded half chances and Hall and Belshaw were both called upon to show strong pairs of hands. In the 90th, though, Town thought they'd won it when a looping header from Ainge beat the dive of the Harriers stopper and into his top corner.
Heads didn't drop, though, and even deeper into injury time Ironside completed his brace as a curled finish into the top corner, through a crowd of bodies, evened up the scores once again.
HARRIERS will look to build on their win over Gainsborough when they travel to title-chasing Harrogate Town on Tuesday night (7:45pm)
John Eustace’s men picked up a useful 3-0 success over Trinity at Aggborough at the weekend.
But, as is always the way in National League North, there is little time to savour any such win.
Instead, it’s straight back into the thick of the action with a difficult trip to the CNG Stadium to meet a Harrogate side who have spent their share of time on the top of the table this term.
More recently, they’re keen to get back to winning ways after a rare defeat, two goals not enough as they went down 3-2 at FC United of Manchester at the weekend.
One Harrier who knows the side must maintain their momentum is defender Fraser Horsfall.
The youngster bagged his first ever goal for the club in that Gainsborough win, and was pleased to see the composure of the team rewarded – particularly in the game’s second half.
“I know they are a good team, but we are confident,” Fraser Horsfall
“At 1-0, even though we dominated the game, they could always get a chance,” said the player on loan from Huddersfield.
“That’s just part of the game, but getting that second goal relaxes you a little bit and from there we pushed on and did very well.
“We dominated possession but in the first half we were a bit frustrated with the chances we got.
“We knew we would [improve] and that showed in the second half; there’s no point getting stressed out about not scoring.”
Town, managed by former Harrier Simon Weaver, have been beaten on home soil on just one occasion in the National League North this season.
That’s seen them quickly amass 40 points this season as they make a charge for promotion.
“I know they are a good team, but we are confident,” added Horsfall.
“Hopefully we will go there and get a result…we need to push on and keep going.”
There’s little to report from the camp in terms of injuries at the time of writing.
Andre Brown and Joel Taylor returned to the squad at the weekend after spells out.
Lee Vaughan continues to work hard in training with the rest of the squad as he continues to build up his fitness after the better part of eight months out, with Dan Bradley (knee) also ruled out.
Kick-off at Harrogate Town on Tuesday is 7:45pm.
Catch up with away ticket and travel details.
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Joe Ironside post-match
John Eustace post-match