Gainsborough fell to a third straight defeat as a clinical Harrogate Town ran out winners at the Martin and Co Arena. Two quality first half finishes was enough to separate the sides with the highlight a 25 yard thunderbolt from Lloyd Kerry. Blues boss Dominic Roma made four changes to the Trinity sides that suffered back to back defeats in their last two outings.
One change was enforced with Matt Wilson suspended after his red card at Alfreton last Tuesday with Ioan Evans coming in. The other changes saw James Reid and Jake Eastwood replaced by Jordan Thewlis and Jonathan Hedge.
After a quarter of an hour Town took the lead when Lloyd Kerry controlled a square ball from Jack Emmett and found the top corner from all of 25 yards. The Blues tried to respond, with captain Nathan Jarman trying to gee up his troops. He was the man to have the first attempt for Trinity, swivelling and hitting a half volley just over the bar from the edge of the box.
Harrogate then had two opportunities to double the lead within three minutes of each other. Ainge headed straight at Hedge after Jarman miscued a header into his path before centre defence partner Luke Shiels turned a corner just wide. Gainsborough then started their best period of the half with Jarman having a free kick blocked before Jake Scott made the keeper work with a stab goalwards.
Trinity were then sucker punched on the break when Pitman expertly controlled a long ball on his chest to run onto and thumped a low left shot into the net. Chilaka hit the post for the visitors a minute later, weaving his way post two before the Blues had a corner cleared off the line.
Trinity boss Roma almost got the response he desired after his half time team talk with Alex Wiles coming very close to pulling one back within two minutes. Town keeper Peter Crook flapped at a free kick with Wiles winning a challenge before dragging a shot wide of the mark.
Trinity should have scored in the last minute of normal time when former Harrogate winger Jordan Thewlis jinked his way into the box, squared to Jake Picton who had the goal at his mercy but somehow shot wide.
Hedge, Picton, Lacey, Scott (Wiles 42), Quinn, Evans, Thewlis, Thornhill, Worsfold (Reid 71), Jarman, Rothery (Hazel 71). Subs (not used): Beatson, Eastwood
Crook, Turner, Parker, Burrell, Ainge, Shiels, Kerry, Leesley (Colbeck 71), Chilaka, Emmett, Pitman (Day 88). Subs (not used): Ellis, Platt, Gascoigne
Goalscorers: Kerry 16, Pittman 39
Referee: Mr G Rhodes
Match report by David Granger (dave_granger) - Freelance Sports Journalist
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