Worcester City 2-2 Harrogate Town: JP Pittman rescues point after Lee Hughes brace

JP Pittman scored a dramatic equaliser against Worcester (Photo: Craig Hurle)
JP Pittman scored a dramatic equaliser against Worcester (Photo: Craig Hurle)

Substitute John Paul Pittman scored an injury time equaliser to rescue a point for Harrogate Town on the opening day of the season.

Former West Brom striker Lee Hughes twice put hosts Worcester City in front at Bromsgrove but Simon Weaver's men showed their fighting qualities.

Luke Shiels levelled from close range eight minutes after Hughes slotted home a penalty just 12 minutes into the contest.

The veteran striker added a second for the hosts three minutes into the second half.

But Pittman found himself in the right place at the right time to scramble home Joe Leesley's last minute free-kick.

Former Grimsby striker Pittman had been left on the bench alongside Chib Chilaka as Weaver preferred pre-season goal machine Jordan Robertson up front with Dom Knowles.

Club captain Danny Ellis was also left on the bench for the opening day clash as former Guiseley man Simon Ainge preferred alongside Shiels.

England C and former Alfreton Town pair Joe Leesley and Andi Thanoj joined Lloyd Kerry and Joe Colbeck in a diamond midfield, as Tom Platt and Andy Gascoigne were left out of the 16-man squad.

Leesley had Town's first chance of the season as he galloped onto Dom Knowles' pass but his low shot cannoned back of Andy Gallanagh's legs.

The opening goal went the way of the hosts when Hughes was gifted a chance to score from the spot when his cross was handled by Lewis Turner.

Luke Shiels scored Harrogate Town's first goal of the season (Photo: Craig Hurle)

Luke Shiels scored Harrogate Town's first goal of the season (Photo: Craig Hurle)

And the 40-year-old former Premier League man beat Peter Crook from 12 yards, finding the bottom corner.

Town were only behind for nine minutes before Shiels found the net. Leesley's free-kick was dropped and Sheils' follow up went in off a defender and the post.

Robertson volleyed over close to half time but the scores remained level going into the break.

However, Worcester reclaimed the lead just three minutes into the second half as Hughes headed home to double his team's and personal tally.

Shiels was almost the unlikely source of a second equaliser when another free-kick was fumbled but Worcester young keeper Ethan Ross gathered at the second attempt.

Leesley then had an effort cleared off the line as he cut back in on his left foot.

Town's search for an equalising goal saw Chib Chilaka, Jack Emmett and John Paul Pittman introduced for Joe Colbeck, Robertson and Knowles in the final half an hour.

And the leveller finally arrived in injury time as Pittman found the net at the back post.

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