Gloucester City was torn apart by a 16-minute hat-trick from Harrogate Town striker Michael Woods as the Tigers were tamed in North Yorkshire.\r\n\r\nThe goals, either side of half-time, ended City’s resistance after enjoying a positive start against the title-chasers.\r\n\r\nCraig Nelthorpe added a fourth with a goal directly from a corner before Matt Liddiard and Scott Wilson attempted a late revival to no avail.\r\n\r\nThe contest, in front of a bumper crowd at the CNG Stadium, failed to burst into life until 10 minutes in with Liam Hardy producing a tame effort.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers, buoyant after two superb wins in the last week, opened well and Scott Wilson was unlucky to see his strike saved well by goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray.\r\n\r\nIt was Mike Green’s turn to produce the goods four minutes later with an excellent save denying Woods after he skipped his way through the City defence.\r\n\r\nAn audacious attempt from Nelthorpe followed shortly after, with the full-back skewing a half-volley on target and troubled the Tigers keeper slightly.\r\n\r\nWilson, who was looking dangerous during the first half, again tested MacGillivray who stood firm to block the young forward’s attempt from wide.\r\n\r\nThe 19-year-old once again found some space behind the Harrogate backline after a sublime throughball by Zack Kotwica, but at the crucial moment he dragged wide at the near post.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers rallied heading into the break and after Kotwica’s mis-hit effort bundled into the box, Will Morford was there to force a simply fantastic save from MacGillivray, yet again.\r\n\r\nHowever, with City on top, Harrogate scored the first goal.\r\n\r\nA quick break forward found Nelthorpe at the back post who headed into the path of Woods who couldn’t miss from five yards out.\r\n\r\nThe second half couldn’t have started any worse for Gloucester; Craig Hall had burst down the left flank to produce a superb ball into the path of Woods who slammed home his second, an almost identical finish.\r\n\r\nOn the hour, it became three, as City were caught out in defence by Hall who played a sublime ball to Woods who completed a brilliant hat-trick tapping the ball past a stranded Green.\r\n\r\nWhen it rains, it pours, and as the Yorkshire skies opened above the day became even worse for Dave Mehew’s men with Nelthorpe scoring directly from a corner whilst Green was involved in a melee in the middle, a quite ludicrous finish.\r\n\r\nDespite Harrogate’s rampant attack the Tigers were still afforded chances and from a teasing Matt Groves corner, Liddiard poked home in the six yard box to revive a glimmer of hope.\r\n\r\nThe deficit was decreased even more shortly after with Wilson turning quickly on the edge of the area to surprise MacGillivray and sneak the ball into the bottom corner.\r\n\r\nBut it was all too late for the Tigers who made the trip back to Gloucestershire knowing they had been well and truly beaten.\r\n\r\nHarrogate Town:  C. MacGillivray, M. Bloomer, C. Nelthorpe, A. Bolder, L. Franks, S. Killock, L. Hardy, B. Abbott, A. Worsfold (Hall 43), M. Woods (Nowakowski 83), C. Taylor\r\n\r\nSubs not used: S. Mallory, A. Nowakowski, D. Merris, C. Sellars\r\n\r\nGoals: Woods 43, 46, 59, Nelthorpe 69\r\n\r\nGloucester City: M. Green, M. Liddiard, M. Giglio, M. Coupe, K. McKenzie, T. Webb (Edwards 55), Z. Kotwica (Parker 78), D. Mullings, S. Wilson, W. Morford, M. Groves\r\n\r\nSubs not used: N. Phillips, N. Mustoe, M. Green\r\n\r\nGoals: Liddiard 76, Wilson 80\r\n\r\nAttendance: 1,428

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