Sound start for Nottingham Forest loanee Owen Gallacher as Harrogate Town push on in FA Trophy

Owen Gallacher’s first-ever experience of senior football could not really have gone too much better.

By Rhys Howell
Sunday, 12th January 2020, 8:38 pm

The 20-year-old Nottingham Forest loanee made his Harrogate Town debut in Saturday’s 2-0 FA Trophy success at Darlington.

Goals from Jack Diamond and Lloyd Kerry sealed Simon Weaver’s team’s progress into the third-round draw, while left-back Gallacher was able to reflect upon a job well done.

“I was pleased. I was happy that we managed to get the win and the clean-sheet as well, that tops it off,” the former Newcastle United trainee said.

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“It was a big step up from under-23s football but I thought I did all right. I was pleased with my performance.

“It was a good game to be involved in. A good experience, different to what I’m used to.

“The physicality from under-23s to this is a lot greater as well, but with challenges, you’ve got to go in hard. If you don’t go in hard then you won’t win the ball.”

Gallacher’s one-month loan switch from Championship outfit Forest was only confirmed on Friday, meaning that he was only able to train with his new team-mates once before being handed a start against the Quakers.

And although he admits that he didn’t know anyone in the Town squad prior to his arrival, he said he has settled in immediately and is hoping to learn plenty during his time at Wetherby Road.

“Everybody was new to me, but all the lads have been great with us and welcome us form the start,” Gallacher added.

“That’s obviously helped on the pitch as well. As a youngster you want all the experience that you can get.”

He added: “I’m just aiming to play as much senior football as I can, get as many minutes as I can and help the lads in their push for the title.”

For those Harrogate supporters who weren’t in attendance at Blackwell Meadows to witness his debut first-hand, Gallacher has revealed that he considers himself to be an attacking full-back and a defender who likes to get involved further up the pitch.

“I like to think that I’m fast and I like to get forwards,” he said.

“I try to get on the overlap and get involved in the attacking play as much as possible.”

Second-half goals from Tobi Sho-Silva and Josh Staunton saw FC Halifax Town progress to the third round of the FA Trophy as they won 2-1 at Torquay United.

The Gulls got one back through Connor Lemonheigh-Evans to set-up a grandstand finish, but The Shaymen showed resilience to see the game ou and reach the third round.

Torquay started fairly well, and could have taken the lead had top-scorer Jamie Reid reacted better to a corner that fell to him unmarked at the far post.

Perhaps with the blustery conditions in mind, which were in their favour in the opening half, Torquay had tried a shot straight from the kick-off which Sam Johnson easily saved.

Charlie Cooper went close for Town when a corner broke to him 25 yards out, but his shot was deflected just over.

Torquay captain Asa Hall brought a decent save from Johnson midway through the first-half with a curling shot from range.

The Gulls put that right though when a flowing move of one-touch football culminated in dangerman Reid getting sight of goal near the penalty spot but rolling the ball just wide of the far post.

Moments later, centre-back Kyle Cameron’s free header from a corner was well saved by Johnson at full-stretch as the hosts’ pressure started to build.

However, since the interval, the game had subtly changed with the wind, which was now at Town’s backs, helping the visitors to get a foothold in the contest and keep Torquay further away from their goal.

And with their first shot on target, Halifax took the lead when Redshaw’s low effort from an angle nicked Sho-Silva’s boot on it’s way across the box.

Nathan Clarke preserved their lead on the hour mark though when he cleared an effort off the line, seconds before Aaron Nemane’s low drive was deflected inches wide.

That proved crucial as, a few minutes later, Sho-Silva controlled a drilled cross and laid it off to Staunton, whose shot from 20 yards was deflected into the bottom corner with only Town’s second effort on target.

But that wasn’t the case as Lemonheigh-Evans capped a fine individual run with a low shot past Johnson near the corner of the six-yard box.

Torquay came close to forcing a replay when Reid’s header was tipped over and Ben Whitfield’s shot was drilled wide, but The Shaymen saw out a nervy last few minutes.

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Jonathan Margetts struck 16 minutes from time to give Frickley Athletic the spoils at Newcastle Town.

Around 150 hardy home and away supporters turned out for this Northern Premier South East Division encounter – the second-lowest attendance figure on the day in the division.

Frickley are sixth in the table on points difference alone while Newcastle are third-bottom just three points from safety.

In the North West Division, Brighouse Town ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over visitors Runcorn Linnets.

Reece Kendall struck first just a minute before half-time and Thomas Haigh all-but made the result safe with a second goal for the hosts a mere three minutes into the second half. Tadcaster Albion remain fourth despite being edged out 1-0 at lowly Dunstan. Sixth-placed Pontefract Collieries slipped up by going down by the same scoreline at home to Marske United – fifth on the league ladder.

Basement side Pickering Town have given themselves a fighting chance of capturing the two teams directly ahead of them in the table with a gutsy 3-2 victory over third-bottom Ossett United. Flynn McNaughton and Iwan Heeley scored Town’s goals before the break with McNaughton netting his second on 56 minutes, four after Aaron Haswell had pegged one back for United. Ossett turned up the tension again when Tom Greaves scored from the spot with 14 minutes still left on the clock.

In NCE League Premier, Goole AFC were well-beaten, 4-1 by visitors Yorkshire Amateur, Hemsworth MW lost out 1-0 at home to Staveley MW, Liversedge out-gunned Garforth Town 4-1 and Thackley saw off visitors Albion Sports 4-0.

In Division One, Nostell MW pushed hard but were edged out 2-1 at Campion, Glasshoughton beat Rossington 2-0, North Ferriby edged out Armthorpe 3-2, and Selby Town got the better of visitors Harrogate Railway 7-3.