Jon Stead helps Harrogate Town keep pace with National League leaders while Halifax Town play out goalless draw

Harrogate Town remain just three points behind National League leaders Barrow following a 1-0 win at Hartlepool United on New Year’s Day.

Jon Stead.

It was Town’s third win in a week, building on their 2-0 success at Chorley and their 4-1 victory at home to Hartlepool on Boxing Day.

The visitors had to wait until just before the hour before grabbing the decisive goal as Jon Stead swept home Jack Emmett’s cross.

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They should have been ahead earlier in the piece when Jack Muldoon was played through by Emmett on 22 minutes but his effort was diverted over the bar by a defender.

Mark Beck and Connor Hall had chances late in the second half but Simon Weaver’s charges had already done enough for maximum points as Town defended resolutely to make it two clean sheets in a row.

Harrogate’s position in the National League play-offs is beginning to look increasingley secure with Weaver’s men now sitting seven points clear of eighth-placed Boreham Wood.

Meanwhile, FC Halifax Town kicked off 2020 with a 0-0 draw against Stockport County at the Shay.

The Shaymen had lost the reverse fixture 5-1 on Boxing Day but dug deep to earn a point on home soil.

The visitors had the better opportunities but failed to make the most of them as they left West Yorkshire with a tinge of disappointment.

County had two early chances to go in front as Tom Walker’s shot was saved before Ash Palmer saw his effort hacked off the line with the subseqeunt rebound put wide.

Halifax struggled to create chances of their own and were largely limited to long-range efforts that provided little threat to the Stockport defence.

The second half played out similar to the first, with the away side controlling the majority of the early play.

Halifax slowly gained a foothold however, and nearly snatched all three points late on.

Josh Staunton had an effort saved before seeing his header cannon out off the post as the game finished scoreless.