A thunderous shot from Tom Platt and a Dominic Knowles penalty saw Harrogate Town defeat a lacklustre Gloucester City at Whaddon Road, writes Simon Clark.\r\n\r\nThe two goals, within the first fifteen minutes of the game, essentially killed the contest as the visitors showed why they are widely tipped to be involved in the playoffs come May.\r\n\r\nCity had little of the game and were constantly shut out by a very professional performance from the North Yorkshire outfit, however it being the seventh game in 21 days for the Tigers did little to help.\r\n\r\nDespite the result, it was the Tigers who started the better, but a teasing free kick from Lewis Hogg was well stopped by Craig McGillinray.\r\n\r\nHowever, Harrogate Town were put thoroughly in the driving seat on nine minutes after a hopeful ball from Matt Bloomer found Platt in the penalty area, the York City loanee then thundered the bouncing ball into the top corner. A great start for Simon Weaver’s team.\r\n\r\nThe great start became a perfect start on 15 minutes for the Yorkshire outfit. A bumbling run from Dave Merris on the wing saw the left back cross a teasing ball, only for Matt Coupe to challenge Danny Forrest in the area, seeing the referee give a rather questionable penalty.\r\n\r\nStriker Knowles stepped up and converted with ease to double their lead.\r\n\r\nCity seemed shell-shocked by Harrogate’s early onslaught and attempted to gain some standing in the contest but a wild effort from Adam Mann was saved well by McGillinray.\r\n\r\nYet, the visitors kept on coming and only a deflection from goalkeeper Mike Green forced Michael Woods’ shot just wide of the post.\r\n\r\nA great piece of play from the Town midfielder found Knowles again, and as the striker unleashed his shot, defender Mike Green produced a stunning last ditch challenge to deny the Harrogate man.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers were restricted to efforts from outside the area, and after a trademark run down the left Danny Andrew could only find the gloves of McGillinray.\r\n\r\nThe contest could’ve easily been out of reach but a glaring miss from Woods kept the Tigers hopes alive. The striker had been played through, and despite being one-on-one with Green, missed the target despite it being easier to score.\r\n\r\nThe second half had started with the visitors still on top, but an attempted chip from afar by Knowles was well saved by Green.\r\n\r\nThe game continued as a war of attrition, with Harrogate producing a thoroughly professional performance and a forgettable second half, halting any chance of a comeback for David Mehew’s men.\r\n\r\nGloucester City: M. Green, M. Green, D. Andrew, M. Coupe (Rawlings 69), C. Holland, T. Webb, L. Hogg, J. Harris, D. Edwards, W. Morford (Davies 61), A. Mann\r\n\r\nSubs not used: N. Mustoe, T. Hamblin\r\n\r\nHarrogate Town: C. McGillinray, D. Samuels, D. Merris, A. Bolder, M. Bloomer, S. Killock, T. Platt (Elam 90), A. Nowakowski, D. Knowles, M. Woods (Bolland 67), D. Forrest (Youhill 88)\r\n\r\nSubs not used: C. Chilaka, C. Radcliffe\r\n\r\nGoals: Platt 9, Knowles 15 (p)\r\n\r\nAttendance: 242\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n
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