Shell-shocked Gloucester City unable to recover from early blows
GLOUCESTER CITY 0, HARROGATE TOWN 2
A THUNDEROUS shot from Tom Platt and a penalty from Dominic Knowles saw Harrogate Town defeat a lacklustre Gloucester City.
The two goals, within the first 15 minutes of the game, essentially killed off the contest as the visitors showed why they are widely tipped to be involved in the play-offs come May.
City had very little of the game and were constantly shut out by a very professional performance from the North Yorkshire outfit, however, it being the Tigers seventh game in 21 days did little to help.
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Although, it was the Tigers who started the better, but a devious free kick from Lewis Hogg was well stopped by Craig McGillinray in the Harrogate goal.
However, the visitors were put thoroughly in the driving seat on nine minutes after a hopeful punt from Matt Bloomer found Platt in the penalty area.
The York City loanee then turned and thundered the bouncing ball into the top corner. A great start for Simon Weaver's team.
The great start became a perfect start on 15 minutes for the Yorkshire outfit. A bumbling run from Dave Merris on the wing saw the left back cross into the area, only for Matt Coupe to challenge Danny Forrest forcefully, seeing the referee give a rather questionable penalty.
Striker Knowles stepped up and converted with ease to double their lead.
City seemed shell-shocked by Harrogate's early onslaught and attempted to gain some standing in the contest but a wild effort from Adam Mann was saved well by McGillinray.
Yet, the visitors kept on coming and only a deflection from goalkeeper Mike Green forced Michael Woods' shot just wide of the post.
A great piece of play from the Town midfielder found Knowles again, and as the striker unleashed his shot, defender Mike Green produced a stunning last ditch challenge to deny the Harrogate man.
The Tigers were restricted to efforts from outside the area, and a trademark run down the left by the ever-dangerous Danny Andrew could only find the gloves of McGillinray.
The contest could have easily been out of reach but a glaring miss from Woods kept the Tigers hopes alive.
The striker had been played through, and despite being one-on-one with Green, missed the target despite it being easier to score.
The second half had started with the visitors still on top, but an attempted chip from afar by Knowles was well saved by Green.
The game continued as a war of attrition, with Harrogate producing a thoroughly professional performance and a forgettable second half, halting any chance of a comeback for Dave Mehew's men.
Gloucester City: M. Green, M. Green, D. Andrew, M. Coupe (Rawlings 69), C. Holland, T. Webb, L. Hogg, J. Harris, D. Edwards, W. Morford (Davies 61), A. Mann. Subs not used: N. Mustoe, T. Hamblin
Harrogate Town: C. McGillinray, D. Samuels, D. Merris, A. Bolder, M. Bloomer, S. Killock, T. Platt (Elam 90), A. Nowakowski, D. Knowles, M. Woods (Bolland 67), D. Forrest (Youhill 88) Subs not used: C. Chilaka, C. Radcliffe