Michael Emery, Dominic Roma, Kevin Sandwith, Andrew Boyce (Adam Watts 82), Luke Waterfall, Shane Clarke, Jonathan D'Laryea, Ryan Williams (Ryan Kendall 56), Leon Mettam (Jordan Thewlis 73), Paul Connor, Jamie Yates
Subs not used - Michael Leary, Lewis McMahon
Mark Cook, Jake Picton, Paul Heckingbottom, Laurie Wilson, Richard Pell, Alan White, Rob Youhill (Matthew Bloomer 75), Paul Bolland, Paul Brayson, Chib Chilaka, Craig Radcliffe.
Subs not used - Will Turl, Lee Elam, Dan Clayton
Saturday 18th February 2012
Blue Square Bet North, at the Northolme
Gainsborough Trinity (0) 0
Harrogate Town (0) 1 Rob Youhill 50
Admission £10, Programme £2.50, Attendance 596
This week I've seen three football matches.
Two of them were highly entertaining.
And then there was today's game.
Lets pull no punches here, a large crowd turned up to see if Trinity could keep up their promotion/play off push and they were served up a disappointing and lacklustre game, between one side who were intent on applying spoiling tactics and another that was queueing up to miss a string of gilt edged chances.
Gainsborough Trinity were the latter side in case you were wondering.
A cold, biting wind and a referee who was having a bit of an off day, didn't exactly help matters either, as the game descended into a stop/start, scrappy affair.
Paul Connor, Trinity's former Mansfield Town and Lincoln City hit man, had a bit of a 'mare' this afternoon.
He worked tirelessly to get into the optimum positions and more often than not was in the right place at the right time, but the execution of the openings that came his way was all over the place.
Paul Brayson put over an inch perfect cross for Paul Bolland, who should've opened the scoring for the visitors, but the former Mansfield Town player headed his chance over with Michael Emery beaten.
Talking of ex Stags, Trinity now have four of them in their ranks, Kevin Sandwith, Ryan Williams, Paul Connor and John D'Laryea.
And I know of a few Mansfield fans who have been nipping over the Trent to watch the Northolme side in action on the strength of this, when their team don't have a game, or they are playing away at some God forsaken corner of the BSBP ... e.g. Newport today.The best chance of the first half fell to Trinity, Mark Wood saved a close range effort from Paul Connor after a good break and cross from the left flank by Jamie Yates, but with the Harrogate keeper grounded, Shane Clarke lashed the rebound over the bar.
Harrogate Town took the lead early in the second half.
It was almost a carbon copy of Trinity's best chance of the first half as regards the left wing cross (from Paul Brayson) and close range save (by Michael Emery from Paul Bolland), but this time the rebound fell to Rob Youhill, who unlike Shane Clarke, kept his shot on target.
Trinity went in search of an equaliser.Leon Mettam, with time and space, right in front of the goal, got onto the end of a Ryan Kendall cross, but headed the ball some way over the bar.
At that point, it was looking ominous for Trinity and seemed almost inevitable that it just wasn't going to happen for them today.
This was a bad day at the office for the Blues, where they wouldn't have scored if they had carried on playing all night, after the crowd, ground-staff, match officials and opposition players had all left and gone home.
Mark Cook was in the thick of the action, but most of his catches and saves were of the variety that were simple to deal with.
Trinity spent the majority of the last fifteen minutes or so in and around the visitors penalty area, but the final touch was sadly lacking.
The shooting was bereft of very much accuracy or power.
The desire was there, but not the application.
It wouldn't be too unkind to say Steve Housham's team were woeful in the finishing stakes all afternoon.
Craig Radcliffe hit a long range effort for Town late on, but it flew wide of the mark.
In the end, Harrogate ground out the result, but Gainsborough were the architects of their own downfall, by missing the chances they created.
Trinity can (and must) play better than they did today.
It remains to be seen if they can keep up with the chasing pack at the top end of the table.
But even if they don't, the Northolme faithful must surely take heart from the fact that the Blues have improved vastly on the previous few seasons and aren't in any danger of slipping into a survival battle at the wrong end of the table.
Surely that makes a nice change.Harrogate Town did what they had to do today.
It wasn't very pretty to watch at times, but they've now made themselves some breathing space 5 points above the drop zone.
That said, the match sponsors did make Trinity's goalkeeper Michael Emery the man of the match, so he must've been busier than I can recollect.
Hope the Harrogate 'Woodlands Massive' had a good run home after the game, via the bars of Wetherby ... great to meet up with you 'big lumps' again ;-)
John, Paul, George, Ringo and the other one ... the 'Woodlands Massive'