HARROGATE Town slipped to seventh in the National League table following their 2-1 defeat at Sutton United on Saturday.
Simon Weaver’s side have suffered a torrid festive spell, claiming just one point from five matches and are 10 points adrift of leaders Leyton Orient.
Only the champions go up automatically, leaving the next six to fight it out in the play-offs, although the second and third-placed finishers have an opening bye.
Harry Beautyman starred with an assist and the match-winning goal as Sutton claimed the 2-1 victory over Harrogate.
Harrogate goalkeeper James Belshaw made a fine save from Tom Bolarinwa’s long-range effort in the eighth minute.
But there was nothing Belshaw could do to stop Sutton taking the lead in the 19th minute. Beautyman’s accurate free-kick was headed past Belshaw by Jonah Ayunga for his fourth league goal of the season.
Harrogate were back on level terms on the hour mark when George Thomson cut inside and dispatched the ball into the top corner with his left foot.
However, eight minutes from time, Beautyman popped up to score the winner, poking home from close range to ensure Sutton climbed above Harrogate, who had Burrell and Langmead booked. Weaver’s men have 47 from 29, a point ahead of Gateshead, who also have a game in hand. Wrexham can go second tomorrow if they win their game in hand at Bromley. They trail Orient by four points and Salford by two.
FC Halifax Town were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at the Shay by bottom-club Braintree.
A one-two between Scott Quigley and Matty Kosylo opened up some space for the loanee, but his shot from a tight angle was straight at Braintree keeper Ben Killip. Town’s day was summed-up when James Ferry’s pass found its way through to Quigley 10 yards out, but the striker failed to control it and the ball rolled away for a goal kick.
Farsley Celtic extended their unbeaten league run to 14 games after a 3-3 draw with Warrington Town at Throstle Nest in the Evo-Stik Premier Division on Saturday.
Warrington took the lead from the penalty spot via Bohan Dixon only for Paul Walker to equalise when he curled home a terrific strike off the upright.
Tony McMillan then headed Farsley into the lead and the advantage was doubled when Nathan Cartman was unable to control Lewis Turner’s cross but somehow Mark Roberts scooped the ball into his own goal.
However, a late brace from Josh Amis crushed Celtic’s hopes of an important victory as the game ended 3-3.
Farsley boss Adam Lakeland said: “It was a bit of a barmy game today. I thought both teams were poor in the first half, but I was disappointed with the penalty decision, Clayts (Adam Clayton) got enough on the ball. In the second half we were much better, but going 3-1 up probably flattered us.
“The thing that has ultimately decided the game is the depth of the squads, they were able to bring on Josh Amis and Dylan Vassallo whilst we’ve been the walking wounded.”
Second-placed Brighouse Town moved to within three points of Division One leaders Morpeth Town after winning 3-1 at Belper Town. Aaron Martin netted a brace for Brighouse and Adam Field scored the other goal.
Third-placed Pontefract Collieries lost ground, going down 4-2 at Cleethorpes Town with Eli Hey netting twice.
Fourth-placed Tadcaster Albion drew 0-0 at AFC Mansfield, while Ossett United won 1-0 against Sheffield FC and Frickley Athletic enjoyed a superb 2-1 victory at leaders Morpeth thanks to Tyler Watson’s 90th-minute winner.
Pickering Town lost 2-0 at home to Carlton Town.
In the NCE League, Hemsworth MW crushed Athersley 8-0 as Nash Connolly (3), Harry Steeple (2), Seon Ripley, Harry Viggars and Bradley Dockerty got on the scoresheet. Leaders Yorkshire Amateur went down 2-0 at Garforth Town with Sean Hunter and Daniel Williams netting. Elsewhere, Knaresborough Town lost 3-1 at Penistone Church, Liversedge drew 0-0 with Albion Sports and Harrogate Railway drew 1-1 at Eccleshill United.