Blue Square Bet North - Tuesday 19 February 2013

 by Gary Owen

 Droylsden ended their shocking run of defeats to record their first point of 2013 with a much-improved performance at Wetherby Road, yet on another night they could easily have won this game.

 It was pleasing to see The Bloods look like a team capable of scoring, particularly in the second half with the advantage of the slope, and with Gomez Dali using his pace to chase everything all night.

 However, in typical fashion, Droylsden fell behind to a relatively early goal, and it was a poor one to concede. A Harrogate free kick was launched into the Bloods’ box on 17 minutes, but it was allowed to bounce, which eluded most, except Shane Killock at the far post, who rose above his marker to loop a header over a bemused Dale Latham.

 However, that was not before the Sulphurites had created an early chance when former Stalybridge man Lee Elam cut inside Sam Minihan to sting Latham’s palms, and Latham was again in action soon after the goal, saving from Danny Forrest.

 Droylsden then began to enjoy better spells of possession, and Gomez Dali chased-down a short back pass to beat Craig MacGillvray to the ball, but the Droylsden striker couldn’t squeeze the ball home from the remaining tight angle.

 Joe O’Neill then shot straight at McacGillvray from distance, before the equaliser arrived. Good work down the left flank by Carlos Logan ensured the ball went to Matty Ward on the edge of the box, who rode two tackles to fire under MacGillvray from 16 yards.

 In first half added time, Chib Chilaka forced Latham to save with his legs, leaving matters all square at the turnaround.

 Early in the second half, Dwayne Samuels shot over for the hosts after Droylsden had only half cleared from their box, and both Dominic Knowles and substitute Michael Woods flashed efforts wide of each post for Town.

 As with the first half, Droylsden weathered this early storm to then create chances of their own. A Stefan Cox shot was gathered in by MacGillvray at the second attempt, but with six minutes to go Droylsden almost snatched the lead when Dali bullied his way into the box only to stab over at full stretch with just MacGillvray to beat.

 Deep into added time, Steve Hall failed to get sufficient purchase onto Logan’s cross, so his header went wide of the far post from a good central position, which would have secured an unflattering victory.

 As it was, Droylsden had to settle for a point, and maybe this could signal the start of a run of results that sees them climb to safety – but it has to be said that mountain remains huge.


Harrogate Town:            MacGillivray, Samuels, Merris, Bolder, White, Killock, Nowakowski, Forrest ((woods, 56’), Chilaka (Dean, 89’), Elam (Youhill, 67’).

Subs. not used:            Bolland, Bloomer.

 Droylsden:                              Latham, Minihan, Logan, Byron, Kerr, Chalmers (Hall, 63’), Ahmed, Ward (Rouse, 61’), O’Neill, Dali, Cox.

Subs. not used:               Rick, Stimpson, Holden.

 ATTENDANCE:                 253

 REFEREE:                            Mr. Alf Greenwood (York, North Yorkshire)


Category: Match Reports