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Kick off 13:00 (UK)

06 January 2024 Venue EnviroVent Stadium Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | Harrogate Town 3 Rovers 1

6 January 2024

Rovers failed to make good pressure count as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Harrogate Town.

After Tommy Rowe cancelled out Sam Folarin’s opener for the hosts, Rovers enjoyed much the better of the attacking play - particularly in the early stages of the second half.

But two goals in nine minutes from James Daly and Abraham Odoh saw Harrogate race clear on their way to the three points.

After the squad’s arrival at the Envirovent Stadium was delayed following a breakdown of the team bus, Grant McCann named the same XI that started the win over MK Dons on New Year’s Day. new signings Conor Carty and Jay McGrath on a bench that included the returning George Broadbent.

The hosts enjoyed the better of the possession in the early stages, without threatening Louis Jones’ goal.

And Harrogate took the lead with their first real effort on 17 minutes. Abraham Odoh carried the ball across the face of the box and laid off to Folarin, who placed a shot in the bottom corner from 15 yards.

Inside two minutes, Rovers were level. A corner was only cleared out as far as Jack Senior, who fed Rowe to thump a shot home from 20 yards.

Kayne Ramsay lashed a shot over the bar from the edge of the box shortly after but it was Rovers who went into the ascendancy as they controlled possession for long periods.

Harrogate were gifted a golden opportunity to retake the lead when Jack Muldoon robbed the ball on the corner of the box and put Odoh clean through. But the striker’s attempt to pick out Folarin for a simple finish saw the ball roll out of play.

Mo Faal met a cross from Rowe with a first time strike moments later but it was deflected wide for a corner.

And Harrison Biggins caught a clearance with a sweetly struck volley but could not find the target.

The last act of the half saw Luke Molyneux drill a low effort from 20 yards which Harrogate keeper James Belshaw got behind well.

Rovers upped the tempo in their play in the early stages of the second half and Molyneux volleyed narrowly over the bar after meeting a fine cross from Rowe a matter of seconds after the restart.

Biggins fired well over the bar from 25 yards before Matty Foulds cleared the woodwork at the other end moments later.

The hosts somehow failed to capitalise after a George Thomson strike from a corner sparked a scramble in the Rovers goalmouth.

Rovers were soon back on the front foot, moving the ball into attacking areas quickly with Molyneux a dangerous presence.

He brought a fine pass forward from Ben Close under control but pulled his angled drive wide of the far post.

Molyneux then went for goal from distance but saw Liam Gibson head the ball over his own crossbar. And he produced an excellent cross from the byline which Faal headed over the bar from a promising position.

Such missed opportunities were rued on 66 minutes as Harrogate edged back in front. Ramsay hit the byline and sent the ball across goal for substitute Daly to turn in at the back post.

Carty was sent on for his Rovers debut on 72 minutes as part of a triple change which also saw Broadbent and Tom Nixon introduced.

But Harrogate extended their lead on 75 minutes when Odoh strode forward and powered in a shot from 25 yards that Louis Jones could not keep out.

There was little by the way of goalmouth action in the remaining minutes as the hosts saw out the win.

Rovers: Jones, Sterry (Nixon 72), Olowu, Bailey, Senior, Biggins (Broadbent 72), Close, Rowe, Ironside, Molyneux, Faal (Carty 72). Subs: Lawlor, McGrath, Faulkner, Goodman.

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