A third minute deflected goal from Paul Beesley saw a battling Gloucester City defeated at Harrogate Town.\r\n\r\nIt was an ugly affair with City on the back foot for the first half, but its depleted squad put in an immense effort and almost nicked a brilliant result against the play-off contenders at the death.\r\n\r\nManager Dave Mehew, who came on as a late substitute, almost became an unlikely hero deep into injury time but his header from a Danny Andrew cross was stopped by Craig MacGillivray on the line amongst an array of bodies.\r\n\r\nThe result continues the Tigers run of never winning a game at Harrogate’s Wetherby Road.\r\n\r\nCity’s makeshift team started with only one defender in their recognised position, Sam Rawlings at right back, as the Yorkshire side came on strongly.\r\n\r\nThe deadlock was broken very early after the ball found Beesley in the penalty area, whose shot was deflected past Mike Green into the goal to put Harrogate ahead, not the start that Mehew’s men would’ve wanted.\r\n\r\nCity continued to be pressed by Town but Colin Larkin’s speculative shot from outside the area failed to trouble Green.\r\n\r\nChib Chilaka, who has been a thorn in City’s side for years, almost doubled the lead after turning on a sixpence in the area, only for Green to produce a top save to deny the striker.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers started to attack forward with more confidence but an effort from long range from Tom Webb was easily saved by MacGillivray.\r\n\r\nCity were them given a free kick 25 yards out from goal, Lewis Hogg stepped up and produced a swerving shot that was well held by the keeper.\r\n\r\nAn incident late in the half saw both Tom Webb and Darren Edwards yellow carded due to disagreeing with the referee’s judgement.\r\n\r\nThe last action of a scrappy half came when Green denied Chilaka yet again.\r\n\r\nThe home side continued with its onslaught in the second half but Adam Bolder’s snatch shot went wide.\r\n\r\nCity started to come back at the play-off contenders and began running the game despite their depleted squad.\r\n\r\nWith ten minutes remaining Joe Parker, who was making his first senior start for the club, was played over the top and only a fingertip save from MacGillivray denied the 18-year-old an equaliser.\r\n\r\nThe pressure kept on coming, corner after corner after corner, but somehow the home side continued to clear the box and brave itself for another City attack.\r\n\r\nHeaders from Will Morford and Matt Liddiard came close after in-swinging deliveries from Hogg and Andrew.\r\n\r\nWith stoppage time looming, Mehew brought himself on for his first full City appearance since 2007.\r\n\r\nIt almost proved to be a masterstroke as the clock reached its 95th minute Andrew’s corner fell to the head of Mehew four yards out but only a last ditch deflection from Dwayne Samuels saw the ball diverted into the path of MacGillivray.\r\n\r\nThe game finished soon after, but the City players produced a brilliant performance under the circumstances and will count themselves unlucky not to get a result out of the game.\r\n\r\nHarrogate Town: C. MacGilivray, D. Samuels, D. Merris, A. Nowakowski, A. White, S. Killock, A. Bolder, P. Beesley (Forrest 81), C. Chilaka, L. Dean (Woods 40), C. Larkin (Clayton 87)\r\n\r\nSubs not used: M. Bloomer, J. Allan\r\n\r\nGoals: Beesley 3\r\n\r\nGloucester City: M. Green, S. Rawlings, D. Andrew, M. Liddiard, J. Harris, T. Webb, L. Hogg, J. Parker (Mehew 89), D. Edwards, W. Morford, A Mann\r\n\r\nSubs not used: M. Green, N. Mustoe, C. Holland\r\n\r\nAttendance: 301

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