Blue Square North: Harrogate Town 0 Droylsden 0

H'gate Town V Hartlepool (270711) Paul Brayson
H'gate Town V Hartlepool (270711) Paul Brayson

HARROGATE Town were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Droylsden last night despite The Bloods playing nearly 74 minutes with ten men.

It was a frustrating night for Simon Weaver and his side who simply couldn’t break down their battling visitors despite creating the better of the chances either side of the break.

Weaver was quick to highlight the positives at the final whistle as Town made it four points from two home games this season.

But it really was a case of two points dropped against a Droylsden side ripe for the taking in the second period.

The Lancashire outfit started the game strongly passing the ball around neatly across the pristine Wetherby Road surface.

Town battled back with midfield general Adam Nowakowski having their first shot in anger on seven minutes.

In form striker Paul Brayson looked lively up front after bagging another at Hinckley at the weekend and he nearly combined with Lee Elam soon after but a half chance was snuffed out.

His partner in crime Callam Hassan was as ever a threat and his speculative effort from the right hand touch line landed on the roof of the net after 11 minutes.

The game burst into life on 21 minutes when former Town man Paul Brown was given his marching orders for an off the ball incident next to the away dugout.

The decision incensed opposition manager Dave Pace who had to reshuffle his pack as they geared up for the next 69 minutes a man down.

Hassan continued to look dangerous.

He should have done better on 25 minutes when he was set clear by Brayson but his tame shot was saved by Paul Phillips. He then headed wide from a Laurie Wilson cross. The giant then wowed the crowd with a rasping shot moments later that thundered against the bar’ and bounced to safety.

Droylsden were limited to half chances at the other end but they looked comfortable with the ball and were very much still in the game at the break.

After the interval Droylsden put Town under the cosh with a series of corners.

Despite playing with a man down they looked the more dangerous. Apart from a couple of half chances for Hassan and Brayson, The Bloods were camped in Town’s half for the first ten minutes of the second half.

Town tried to get a foothold on the match but their final ball was poor at times. They lacked ideas in and around the box and resorted to pumping long balls up to Hassan to run on to instead of keeping the ball on the turf.

It was a frustrating half for the home fans inside Wetherby Road.

Elam blazed over the bar’ on 64 minutes when he really should have done better. Peter Bore had two good opportunities to find the net but he fired wide.

As the half went on it looked increasingly unlikely that Town would find the net.

However Droylsden were looking threatening on the break and nearly opened the scoring through Danny Rowe but he wasted his chance to beat Mark Cook.

In a positive move Weaver replaced Elam with Liam Hardy in the final ten minutes.

He made an immediate impact and was involved in the build up of one of the games most exciting passages of play.

After a series of passes inside the Droylsden half the ball was fired into the opposition box. Queue a mad scramble with multiple shots cleared off the line and bodies flying around everywhere. Even when the ball looked to have been cleared it somehow found its way to Brayson who could only find the side netting much to the agony of the Town fans at the hospital end.

There was still time for some late drama when Hardy was sent clear on the right only to be pulled back by a Droylsden defender in the box. The assistant referee signalled for a foul only to later put his flag down to the anger of the Town fans in the main stand.

It looked a clear foul but unlike the Altrincham game this time there was no last minute penalty drama.

With the game petering out in the dying embers Droylsden sub’ James Vaughan nearly pinched it with a curling shot that flashed past Cook’s post in the 95th minute.

It ended a mixed night for Town who kept a clean sheet but should have made it two league wins at home out of two.

Harrogate Town: Mark Cook, Laurie Wilson, Craig Radcliffe, Adam Nowakowski, Jake Picton, Paul Heckingbottom, Peter Bore, Stephen Turnbull, Paul Brayson, Callum Hassan, Lee Elam (Liam Hardy 81). Subs unused Will Turl, Matt Bloomer, Michael Tait, Richard Pell.