VIDEO: Harrogate Town striker Chilaka on Vauxhall victory

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Harrogate Town moved up a gear as they near their FA Cup dream date against Hastings, beating Vauxhall Motors 3-1 for the second time in a week.

Town put in a great shift in the first half, but lost some composure in the second after Vauxhall found the net, and they also missed two great chances to increase their lead late on.

Harrogate Town's Danny Forrest   (121013M4a)

Harrogate Town's Danny Forrest (121013M4a)

Elsewhere, Harrogate Railway lost 2-1 at Lancaster City in the Evo Stik First Division North, while Tadcaster Albion were 2-0 winners at home to Nostell MW in the NCEL Premier.

Steve Jeff and Jake McCormick scored for Tad.

Back at Wetherby Road, Simon Weaver’s Town were up against the side they knocked out of the FA Trophy 3-1 earlier before in a Blue Square North encounter.

But they were without talismanic striker Chib Chilaka, who was rested as a precaution after tweaking his knee and instead provided match commentary on Radio York.

Paul Beesley was partnered by Danny Forrest, with Lee Elam on the wing.

Skipper Alan White meanwhile was named among the subs, presumably to avoid another booking which would likely see him miss the Hastings game.

The sides battled it out for league points on a pitch that received serious treatment to improve drainage a week ago, but still looked extremely soggy and heavy underfoot.

Luke Dean lashed a shot which drifted wide of the goal as Town enjoyed a strong spell of early possession, Forrest also going close with a low drive which forced Motors’ Craig Ellison into a diving save.

Tom Platt, scorer of a brace at Vauxhall last week, picked out a chance but the boggy pitch slowed the pace of the ball and handed Ellison an easy save.

But after winger Lee Elam won the ball in midfield, he pushed it forward to Platt out wide.

A perfect cross from the left by Platt was timed perfectly for Beesley, who powered into the box to slot home in style on 18 minutes.

Then four minutes later it got even better.

From 30 yards out on the wing, Elam looked out and fired a tremendous lob at Ellison.

The ball hit the underside of the crossbar, and seemingly bounced out before Beesley attempted to slam in the rebound.

But referee Neil Sharp deemed Elam’s ball had crossed the line and Town were 2-0 up and cruising.

Eight minutes before half time, Elam was fouled inside the box and Sharp awarded Town the penalty.

Luke Dean slotted into the bottom left corner with ease to make it 3-0.

Forrest, who had been carrying an injury before the game, made way for Leon Osborne just before the break.

Vauxhall were simply not at the races, opting to play everything through the middle instead of competing on the wings.

The only chance they had came when Elam gave away a free kick after a foul on striker Mike Burns just before the break.

Winger Robbie Booth took the kick but it gave Craig MacGillivray no trouble whatsoever.

Back out for the second half, and Town took their foot off the gas, Adam Bolder picking up a yellow card for a challenge on defender Craig Noone.

Fortunately Mike Burns kick failed to clear the wall, let alone trouble MacGillivray.

However, Vauxhall found a way back into the game six minutes into the half as Town’s concentration dipped again.

Booth pounced on a loose ball, charging straight past Shane Killock to slot the ball under MacGillivray six minutes into the half.

Town looked a bit stretched now, and Weaver opted to bring Bolder off and introduce Paul Bolland.

Vauxhall won another free kick but were unable to do much with the ball once it was in the box.

Elam broke again up the wing after a decent ball from Killock, but after a nice pass across the face of the box, Leon Osborne’s touch unfortunately dinked it out for a goal kick.

Beesley was taken off and replaced with Jonny Allan with 15 minutes to go as Town sought to push for a fourth.

But Vauxhall were still trying, and MacGillivray made a tremendous save to deny Craig Mahon a 25-yard shot.

As play broke up the other end through Osborne, Elam failed to connect with a pearler of a cross from Dwaye Samuels and failed to shoot into an open net.

It was a poor miss, and Osborne was unfortunate to miss another chance when clear through for a one on one with Ellison, the pitch forcing the ball to bobble just a yard too far in front of him.

MacGillivray stood firm as Vauxhall pushed for another goal, denying Fernehough a long-range shot at the whistle.

Harrogate Town: Craig MacGillivray, Dwayne Samuels, Dave Merris, Adam Bolder (Bolland 65), Matt Bloomer, Shane Killock, Tom Platt, Luke Dean, Dan Forrest (Osborne 39), Paul Beesley (Allan 76); Lee Elam; Adam Nowakowski, Alan White.

Vauxhall Motors: Craig Ellison, Leon Clowes (David Kocis 31), David Thompson, Tom Hannigan, Andy Nicholas, Chris Noone, Craig Mahon, Louis Moss, Tom Rutter (Winslade 79), Mike Burns (Dan Fernehough 87), Robbie Booth; Gary Martindale, Zac Jones.

Allan: 393

Cards: Dean (yellow)