Harrogate Railway Athletic 3-0 Lancaster City

Lancaster City boss Darren Peacock.
Lancaster City boss Darren Peacock.
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The Dolly Blues’ lack of consistent goalscoring threat this season was evident as they slipped to a final day defeat at Station View.

Despite dominating the opening 45 minutes two controversial penalty decisions and a fantastic solo strike sealed the points for the Rail.

The state of the pitch, the worst encountered by the Dolly Blues on their travels this season, made playing any sort of passing football impossible.

Both teams often resorted to route one football, with the hosts’ superior physical stature giving them the advantage on the day to an injury-hit City side.

Without strikers Tom Kilifin, Matty Poole and Aaron Taylor, a patched up forward line of young duo Reece Pearce and Simon Wearing led the attack for Darren Peacock’s side.

Josh Draycott had the chance to hit the target midway through the opening half as Pearce’s low cross found him in acres of space just inside the centre of the box. The midfielder elected to strike first time but the incredibly bobbly surface saw the ball bounce over the swinging boot.

Sam Bailey had the chance of the game just before half-time, with a 
fantastic slalom finding the City winger eight yards from goal, but the resultant shot was placed agonisingly wide.

From the restart the game turned on its head when Nathan Farquharson beat Mike Hale to Daniel Thirkell’s long ball over the City defence, and the striker went down under what appeared to be at best minimal contact.

Thirkell sent Hale the wrong way from the spot to give the hosts the advantage at half-time.

The lead was doubled 10 minutes into the second half when Adam Baker cut inside from the left flank and curled a precise curling effort over Hale from the edge of the box.

The closest Lancaster came to getting on the scoresheet in the second half was Gavin Clark’s long-range drive that stung the palms of Tom Goodwin, but City looked short of ideas on the infamous Harrogate slope.

Harrogate wrapped up the points as again Farquharson went down under a challenge from Jacob Davis in the box and Jordan Armstrong lashed the penalty down the middle.