Harrogate Town 0 Stevenage FC 0: Stalemate leaves Sulphurites without a win in four

Harrogate Town midfielder Alex Pattison is beaten to the ball by Stevenage's Jake Taylor. Picture: Matt KirkhamHarrogate Town midfielder Alex Pattison is beaten to the ball by Stevenage's Jake Taylor. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town midfielder Alex Pattison is beaten to the ball by Stevenage's Jake Taylor. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town are now four games without a win in League Two following a frustrating stalemate at home to Stevenage.

Just as was the case in last season's corresponding fixture, Boro came to Wetherby Road and set up for point, but actually went on to create the better chances.

Simon Weaver's Sulphurites never really got out of second gear and, having engineered just the one clear goal-scoring opportunity during the course of the entire 90 minutes, cannot claim with any real justification that they warranted anything more than a draw.

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The hosts settled the quicker, moving the ball around tidily during the opening stages without quite managing to find a final pass or moment of quality once they got into decent areas.

Luke Armstrong saw a well-struck effort pushed away by Boro custodian Joseph Anang, but clear sights of the away goal were few and far between.

And, as the half progressed and Harrogate began to play more and more hopeful long balls forward, Stevenage began to look the more likely.

Connor Hall had already shown great awareness to head the ball off his own goal-line after Brad Barry's downwards header beat Mark Oxley before Elliot List's quickly-taken free-kick sent Jamie Reid scampering away down the Boro right.

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The former Torquay United striker cut inside and let fly at the near post, Oxley doing enough to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net but grateful to find Ryan Fallowfield arriving behind him to affect an acrobatic saving clearance about a yard in front of his own line.

Town's best chance of the half arrived just a minute before the interval when Fallowfield got forward from full-back to deliver an inviting low cross.

Armstrong's movement at the near post was excellent, but his finish was not of the same standard and the ball flashed across the face of goal and beyond the far post.

As was the case at the start of the opening period, Weaver's men began the second 45 brightly, probably even with a bit more purpose about their play, though they struggled to open up a resolute Stevenage back-line.

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And, with the visitors seemingly happy to waste time at every given opportunity, little action of any note really took place in either penalty area.

On-loan Sunderland winger Jack Diamond did his very best to make something happen down the home left, while a decent spell during the closing stages saw Town force a succession of corners, however they rarely managed to make first contact once the ball was delivered.

At the other end, Luther James-Wildin drifted in off the right on 88 minutes and and took aim from 20 yards out, drawing a decent diving save out of Oxley.

Stevenage substitute Luke Norris then went close with a header from a stoppage-time corner, another last-ditch intervention from a home defender again arriving just in the nick of time as the spoils were shared.

A point keeps the Sulphurites third in the League Two standings.

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