Harrogate Town 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers: Andy Gascoigne sent off as Town dip continues

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Andy Gascoigne saw red in the first half as Harrogate Town crashed to a fourth straight defeat in a 2-0 defeat against Kidderminster Harriers.

For the second home game in succession, Town conceded twice, had a man sent off and allowed the visitors an open goal in the final moments.

Despite a bright start from Town, Harriers took a first half lead when Liam Truslove’s shot deflected past Peter Crook in a crowded box.

Gascoigne then gave his teammates an uphill battle for the second period when he raced into a challenge on the halfway line and referee Paul Marsden adjudged it to be dangerous play.

Town youngster Marcus Day had the best chance to level after the break but missed an open goal from 25 yards.

And presented with a similar opportunity late on, substitute Andre Brown settled matters in the 89th minute from the halfway line after Peter Crook had attacked a corner.

Weaver had named an unchanged starting line-up from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at league leaders AFC Fylde, meaning Day remained up top alongside targetman Jordan Robertson.

Day made a bright start, too, forcing Samuel Hornby into a strong save in the second minute before Robertson hooked straight at the Harriers goalkeeper after Joe Colbeck galloped forward.

Harriers had taken a while to find their feet but almost took the lead on 27 minutes when Liam Truslove smacked a free-kick onto the crossbar. The the rebound struck Crook and went out for a corner to the fortune of the stopper.

But that was where the luck ended for Crook, who had scouts from Blackpool and Leeds United watching him.

Two minutes later, a corner found Truslove in the right-hand side of the box and the striker’s effort towards the back post took a heavy deflection into the net.

Town should have levelled just five minutes later when Luke Shiels rose highest to a Joe Leesley delivery but headed wide, with Day unable to add a finishing touch on the post.

The hosts were then fighting with a man less. Gascoigne sprinted out to close down , only to catch left-back Zaine Francis-Angol at speed. The reaction of the Harriers players caused anxiety between the players and Mr Marsden deemed the foul worthy of a straight red.

It was a harsh blow on Town, but actually spurred them to an improved performance in the second half.

Day was full of running up front, having seen strike-partner Jordan Robertson make way for Wayne Brooksby, but showed his inexperience when bustled off the ball twice in good areas.

The striker was then presented with a glorious opportunity to level matters when Hornby was caught off his line. Day had time to pick his spot but rushed an effort on the half-volley. The ball trickled towards goal but evaded the net, clipping the outside wheel of the new posts at the CNG Stadium.

Harriers had two good chances to extend their lead before they eventually did - and for the second time in ten days it came in horror circumstances for Crook.

The goalkeeper had pressed forward for a corner in search of an equaliser, but as the ball broke Harriers way, he was nowhere to be seen as Brown launched in the right flank from fully 45 yards.

It was a sour blow to a determined second half performance by the hosts and sees Weaver’s men drop out of the play-off places into sixth, with Harriers leapfrogging them into fifth.