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Match Reports

CITY FALL TO LATE HARROGATE DEFEAT

17 April 2021

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City fell to a late defeat at the EnviroVent Stadium - losing 2-1 to Harrogate Town.

Josh McPake’s 89th-minute strike condemned the Bantams to defeat in their first competitive match at Wetherby Road.

After a bright opening from the visitors, Clayton Donaldson came within inches of putting City ahead when he rose highest to flick Billy Clarke’s corner goalward, but his header was hooked off the line by Joe Cracknell.

City pushed to find an opening and tested Cracknell when a long ball forward found Billy Clarke, who took it past Lloyd Kerry and unleashed a low shot from 20 yards which was claimed by the Town stopper.

Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars’ side continued to press and struck the woodwork in the 10th minute when Andy Cook headed a long free-kick down to Finn Cousin-Dawson, who attempted a spectacular overhead kick which clipped the top of the crossbar.

Cook was next in line to test the hosts’ resilience when he pounced on a soft backpass towards Cracknell. The 30-year-old rounded the goalkeeper before being beaten to the ball by the final defender.

Despite the Bantams’ pressure, it was Harrogate who struck first when Jack Muldoon found space behind City’s defence. The 31-year-old darted towards goal and placed his effort into the bottom left corner.

Jon Stead looked to add a second in the 29th minute when he was played through from just inside the 18-yard area. The former Bantam took the ball in his stride before dragging his shot wide of the far post.

City started the second half with intent and came close to levelling when Levi Sutton burst forward, but had his side-footed effort tipped around the post by Cracknell.

The Sulphurites responded with a chance of their own when Muldoon was played in behind the Bantams’ defence. He picked up the ball and beared down on goal before clipping the crossbar with his effort.

Simon Weaver’s side went in search of a second goal, and it almost came, when Muldoon was played down the right side of the pitch.

The experienced forward cut the ball back to McPake on the edge of the six-yard area, who had his goalbound effort blocked onto the post and cleared away.

Cook attempted to help City get back on level terms when he won an aerial duel which allowed him to take aim from 20-yards out, however his half-volley was beaten away by Cranknell.

City's pressure paid and they equalised in the 72nd minute when Ollie Crankshaw weaved his way through the Harrogate defence before teeing up Cook - who curled a low sweeping effort into the far corner from 10 yards out.

Crankshaw was the provider again as he threaded the ball through to Donaldson who attempted to lob Cracknell, but his ambitious effort fell inches wide of the far post. 

The Bantams continued to press in search of a late winner as Connor Wood collected the ball on the halfway line and drove towards the hosts’ area before zipping the ball goalwards, though it was saved.

As City continued to press, the hosts re-took the lead on the counter attack in the 89th minute, when Muldoon picked up the ball in the final third and cut inside.

He laid off to McPake who bent the ball into the far corner, beyond O’Donnell’s outstretched arms.

Crankshaw almost salvaged a point for City deep into second-half stoppage time when Kian Scales floated the ball over to him, but he had his volley palmed away by Cracknell. 


HARROGATE: Joe Cracknell; Dan Jones (Ryan Fallowfield 56’), Will Smith, Connor Hall, Warren Burrell; George Thomson, Josh Falkingham ©, Lloyd Kerry, Josh McPake; Jack Muldoon, Jon Stead (Mark Beck 74’) ((Williams 90’)). Subs: James Belshaw, Brendan Kiernan, Ed Francis, Jay Williams.

GOALS: Muldoon (22’), McPake (89’). 

CITY: Richard O’Donnell ©; Connor Wood, Paudie O’Connor, Anthony O’Connor, Finn Cousin-Dawson; Charles Vernam (Ollie Crankshaw 70’), Elliot Watt (Gareth Evans 70’), Levi Sutton, Billy Clarke (Kian Scales 90’); Clayton Donaldson, Andy Cook. Subs: Sam Hornby, Jordan Stevens, Matty Foulds, Danny Rowe.

GOALS: Cook (72’). 

REFEREE: James Adcock. 


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