Harrogate Town 0 v 1 Eccleshill United (West Riding County Cup Final)
The West Riding County Cup Final between Harrogate Town (Skrill North) and Eccleshill United (North East Counties First Division) took place this evening at the Coral Windows Stadium. It was a fairly even contest which was unfortunately over shadowed by a serious injury to Harrogate Town striker Chris Hall.
Eccleshill United started the game strongly and had a few good chances early in the game, but the best chance fell to Aaron Sanchez who was about to pull the trigger when Harrogate goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray pounced onto the ball to stop a dangerous attack.
After about ten minutes Harrogate started to get involved in the game as both wingers Dominic Rowe and Conor Sellars were creating a chances down either flank. Liam Hardy then had a number of chances to open the scoring, but his first effort was well saved by Brendon Rosland and his second effort went just wide of the Eccleshill post.
Eccleshill continued to battle and kept the ball well before catching Harrogate twice on the break, unfortunately both Drake Tease and Adam McCabe were found wanting in front goal.
As the first half came to a close, Town finished the stronger and Michael Woods had to golden opportunities to score the first goal of the game, however both chances went high and wide of Rosland goal as the half finished 0-0.
The second half started again with Eccleshill United on top, as Marcus Edwards had a fierce header deflected wide by a perfectly placed Harrogate defender Matt Bloomer. Eccleshill’s Ryan Jones then fired an excellent corner across the six yard box but there was no Eccleshill player on hand to turn the ball into the net.
The major incident in the game came about half way through the second half, when striker Chris Hall jumped with an Eccleshill player and landed awkwardly.
It was clear straight away that Hall had a serious injury (broken ankle) as the game was stopped for ten minutes, Craig Nelthorpe raced onto the pitch to comfort Hill and he was joined by the club physic and manager Simon Weaver. Unfortunatly for Hall he had to receive gas and air before being stretched off to a waiting ambulance.
Despite trying to rally, it was clear that the injury to Chris Hall had affected Harrogate Town and Eccleshill started to apply the pressure straight away. The best chance of the game came about five minutes before full time when Craig MacGillivray made an excellent save from a Charlie Flaherty shot, the rebound fell to Daniel Holowaty who put his shot wide of an own goal from six yards.
In the final minute of ten extra time minutes, Eccleshill United were awarded a penalty when Matt Heath was harshly penalised for handball, when a cross was drilled straight at him from close range. The referee took a long hard look before checking with his linesman and pointing to the spot.
Marcus Edwards stepped up for Eccleshill United and put the spot kick into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal to give the Eagles a 1-0 win and the West Riding County Cup.
Speaking after the match former Bradford midfielder and Eccleshill manager Lee Duxbury said, “The lads deserved their victory, like any team we go out to win and against Harrogate Town it wasn’t any different. I have been at a level where you go to Nottingham Forest or Leeds United in the league and think a draw will be a good result, but this is cup football and it’s all about getting the job done which we did tonight.
There is a lot of talent at this club – not just in the starting 11 but right through the squad of players, I have instilled a bit of steel to add to that talent and make Eccleshill a tough team to beat. I’am delighted with the win because the lads are a good bunch.”
Harrogate Town – MacGillivray, Samuels, Nelthorpe, Brown, Heath, Blooher, Sellars, Woods, Hardy, Worsfold, Rowe (Subs) Bolder, Hall, Merris, Smith, Crook
Eccleshill United – Rosland, Mills, Patillo, Springer, Jones, Newall, Sanchez, Stevenson, Edwards, McCabe, Trease (Subs) Smith, Holowaty, Flaherty, Harbach, Shefte
Goals – (Eccleshill Town) Edwards 90+10 (p)
Attendance – 571