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Harrogate Town FC Promoted to Football League

todayAugust 3, 2020 6

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Goals from George Thomson, Connor Hall and Jack Diamond either side of half-time created history with a 3-1 win over Notts County earning Town promotion to the Football League for the first ever time.

Not even a second-half fightback from County could deny them as Jack Diamond’s 70th minute strike sealed the victory in the National League promotion final here at Wembley Stadium.

As they did in the semi-final a week ago against Boreham Wood, Town started quickly, pressuring their opponents from the off and they were rewarded when Thomson slid home Ryan Fallowfield’s low cross after just six minutes.

Both Aaron Martin and Jack Muldoon also went close to adding to Thomson’s early strike before Fallowfield had to be alert to thwart a Kristian Dennis effort.

Town didn’t sit back on their lead though, pressing and harassing their opponents at every opportunity. And just minutes after the drinks break Connor Hall stabbed home Thomson’s deep free-kick at the far post to double the lead.

They were unfortunate not to extend their advantage even further before half-time, with first Jack Diamond and then Martin going close, the latter seeing his close-range shot cannoning back off the post.

Town were pegged back barely a minute after the break though as Callum Roberts direct free-kick was struck beyond James Belshaw’s dive to provide County a timely boost.

The dangerous Roberts went close again on 55 minutes as his deep run took him beyond the Town defence, only for his effort to flash inches wide. County were now in the ascendancy and Hall went into the book for a late challenge on Wes Thomas as he moved into a threatening position.

Simon Weaver responded by making his first change of the afternoon, replacing Aaron Martin with Jon Stead on the hour.

And Town regained their stranglehold on the game as they used the vast Wembley surface to great effect as Diamond slid home Muldoon’s cross to cap a fine team move in a carbon copy of the opening goal.

County weren’t finished though and both Belshaw and Fallowfield had to be at their best to deny a double opportunity from Thomas.

As the final minutes ticked down, the game continued to remain open with both sides pushing for goals and a Diamond effort tested Sam Slocombe and a Stead shot struck the post before the referee signalled for full-time to spark jubilant scenes amongst the Town players and coaching staff.

Almost a year to the day since their 2019/20 campaign kicked off with a 2-2 draw at home to Solihull Moors, Town turned in a performance worthy of the occasion and end their season in fine style.

Football League here we come!

Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Smith, Hall, Burrell, Thomson, Kerry, Falkingham, Diamond, Muldoon (Beck, 86), Martin (Stead, 61)

Subs: Cracknell, Emmett, Leesley, Harratt.

Bookings: Hall, Kerry.

Goals: Thomson (6), Hall (27), Diamond (70)

Notts County: Slocombe, Rose, Turner, O’Brien (Boldewijn, 46), Doyle, Dennis (Thomas, 46), Wootton, Brindley (Kelly-Evans, 86), Lacey, Bagan, Roberts.

Subs: Rawlinson, Crawford, McDonnell.

Bookings: Rose, Roberts.

Goals: Roberts (46)

Referee: James Bell.

Report by Danny Pugsley.

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