Harrogate Town left to rue missed chances after home draw

Harrogate 'Town's Joe Leesley.
Harrogate 'Town's Joe Leesley.
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A stunning Joe Leesley strike wasn’t enough to earn Harrogate Town all three points in a 2-2 draw with Solihull Moors yesterday.

Trailing at the break, two goals in the space of as many minutes from Mark Beck, then Leesley, saw Simon Weaver’s men go 2-1 up, though they ultimately had to settle for a point following Brendan Kiernan’s penalty miss.

And while Town did enough to win the game in the second half, they began the afternoon poorly, their new-look back-four appearing all at sea during the opening stages.

James Belshaw twice had to save one-on-one efforts inside the first six minutes, before Moors’ Paul McCallum blazed an 18th-minute spot-kick over the bar.

Solihull did take the lead on 34 minutes, however, Nathan Blissett nodding home inside the six-yard box.

Town were level 10 minutes after the interval, Leesley delivering a corner from the right that was met perfectly at the far post by the head of Beck.

Riding the momentum garnered from their equaliser, Town immediately came again and Leesley turned the game on its head, advancing through midfield and unleashing an absolute screamer from almost 30 yards that almost broke the net.

Moors equalised on 66 minutes through McCallum’s close-range header, though Town had the chance to win the game from the spot shortly afterwards, only for the otherwise-impressive Kiernan to clear the crossbar from 12 yards.

The last big chance of the match also fell to Kiernan, but his late header was brilliantly saved by Ryan Boot at point-blank range, meaning the spoils were shared.

Meanwhile, FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild was delighted with his side’s performance as the Shaymen thrashed Ebbsfleet United 4-1 away from home in his first competitive game in charge.

Goals from Cameron King, Niall Maher, debutant Jack Earing and Nathan Clarke, who scored a sensational 70-yard free-kick, saw Town romp to victory against their 10-man opponents.