Hogan cracks it for Town

Opening goal: Danny Holland
Opening goal: Danny Holland

Harrogate Railway 2 FC Halifax Town 3

Scott Hogan struck with 15 minutes remaining to send the Shaymen through to the last four of the County Cup and spare a sparse Station View crowd extra time.

Town had twice been ahead - after the first minute and the 70th - but on each occasion they were quickly pegged back by One North Railway.

But the home side could find no way back for a third time as Neil Aspin’s side held on to move into the semi-finals.

As expected, Town included boss Aspin and coach Lee Nogan in their starting line up.

The average age of the side was helped, however, by youngsters Matthew Jones and Scott Eastwood with Sanchez Heffernan also making an appearance.

Centre back Andrew Milne made his second start since signing from Barrow.

The game got off to an explosive start with a goal at either end inside the opening four minutes.

The Shaymen broke the deadlock after just 28 seconds, Scott Hogan chasing a back pass down and forcing Craig Parry into a poor clearance.

The ball landed at Danny Holland’s feet and he controlled before sending it into the back of the net.

Colin Hunter had an effort disallowed for offside at the other end before Railway levelled in the fourth minute from a corner, Wayne Harratt volleying home from close range.

Michael Duckworth had a couple of opportunities to add to Railway’s tally, but sent a curling free kick into the side netting and fired straight at Phil Senior after springing Town’s offside trap.

Richard Marshall forced a corner with a deflected long range effort then delivered the corner just too high for his fellow former Railwayman James Riley eight yards from goal.

Marshall also released Eastwood down the right, the youngster’s cross to the near post taken by Parry with Holland and Hogan in close proximity.

In between, Ian McLean’s free kick was met by Harrogate scorer Harratt but his downward header was claimed on the bounce by Senior.

Parry produced a repeat of his early error when a poor clearance was picked up by Marshall. He jinked his way past a couple of defenders before firing in a shot the keeper did well to save after the ball reared up off what passed for the Station View turf.

Railway continued to pose a threat, although Hunter failed to get the desired connection on a volley from a right wing cross and his effort was collected comfortably by Senior, Luke Durham’s cross flashed across the face of goal and a Duckorth header bounced wide.

Duckworth was then denied on the stroke of half time by a full length save from Senior.

Town looked to take a grip on the game at the start of the second half with some decent passing moves, but there was no end product.

But they were almost caught on the break by Railway with Riley forced to hammer the ball out of his own six yard box.

Riley also blocked a shot from Harratt as the Shaymen struggled to clear a corner from the right while at the other end, Marshall’s left footed effort bobbled harmlessly wide.

Holland thought he had restored Town’s lead on the hour when he got through and finished well, but the referee had spotted a foul in the build up.

Town should have been in front after 65 minutes after a quick break started by Scott Phelan, who had replaced Aspin at half time.

Hogan latched onto the pass and took it forward before playing in Holland but he dragged his shot from the right across the face of goal and wide.

The Shaymen regained the initiative in the 70th minute when Hogan played the ball wide for Phelan on the left and he cut inside before drilling a shot home.

But, once again, their lead was short lived as Railway responded within 60 seconds, Durham firing past Senior from the edge of the area.

Town were handed a let off four minutes later when a Harratt header from a Hunter cross rebounded back off the bar.

But they responded well with Hogan racing onto a long clearance and making it 3-2 with a well struck shot off the left hand upright.

Town should have had a penalty with five minutes remaining when Marshall had his legs taken from him as he attempted to turn in the area.

And Hogan might have had a second soon after, turning well after collecting a Heffernan pass and forcing Parry to save to his right.

There was a late scare for the Shaymen when Paul Stansfield fired in a shot from 19 yards, but straight into Senior’s arms.

But they finished on the attack with Marshall forcing another save from Parry.

Harrogate Railway: Parry, Thirkell (Parkes 79), McLean, Husband, Harratt, Gray (Jackson 55), Duckworth, Stansfield, Ryan (Palfrey 65), Durham, Hunter. Subs (not used): Davey, Osbourne.

Goals: Harratt 4, Durham 71

Booked: None

Sent-off: None

FC Halifax Town: Senior, Eastwood, Heffernan, Milne, Riley, Aspin (Phelan 46), Marshall, Nogan, S Hogan, Holland, Jones. Subs (not used): Hedge, Lowe, Hardy

Goals: Holland 1, Phelan 70, Hogan 75

Booked: Aspin (foul 41)

Sent-off: None

Attendance: 100

Referee: N Bannister