A late header from substitute Reece Treasure clinched three points for Hallam after their 2-1 win over Harrogate Railway Athletic at Station View on Saturday afternoon. The victory extended the Countrymen's recent fine run to eight games without defeat in all competitions and elevated the Sandygate side to fifth in Toolstation NCEL Division One. However, Rail proved to be a much more difficult proposition than in the reverse fixture in Sheffield in mid September , and Hallam needed to come from behind to clinch a league double over the North Yorkshire side, write Ian Jones and Glenn Poulton for the Hallam FC Website.
Non-League Day saw a bumper crowd of 190 watch a tentative first ten minutes, but it was Sam Smith who threatened first for the visitors with a terrific volley against the post after some confusion in the home defence .The Sandygate side continued to press in that first half, but found Rail goalkeeper Joe Wilton in quite magnificent form as he denied Jordan Turner twice , whilst Will Wraith had a header and shot blocked .
"Their goalkeeper was man-of-the-match- which tells its own story " Steve Whitehead
The deadlock was broken though after 43 minutes when Toby Harris struck from close range to give Harrogate the lead.
The home advantage didn't make it to hslf time, however. Micah Bishop was put through on goal and found tge bottom left hand corner with a crisp finish to send tge teams in level at the break.
Hallam dominated the second half , striking the woodwork twice before sustitute Treasure went close with a header, but then made no mistake with a second headed opportunity to send the points south.
Website writers Ian and Glenn caught up with Countrymen gaffer Stephen Whitehead after the win. Here's his reaction.
Stephen, three away points, eight unbeaten in all competitions and up to fifth in Toolstation NCEL Division One. Sum up a pretty good Non-League afternoon for you , Wez Mirf and the players
Harrogate made us work hard for the three points today. Their goal keeper gets the MOM which tells a story -and fully deserved on his behalf as he pulled a number of top drawer saves off. We had Toots ( Richard Tootle ) come off injured and we replaced him with young Tom Staniland who did well coming into a game like yesterday. Then we changed formation bringing Treas on and giving us more width as we went to 4-4-2 which seemed to work well as he went on to get the winner. I’d class it as a very good three points gained away from home.
You expected a tough afternoon at Station View and the hosts were certainly a more difficult proposition than at our place.How important was it to go in at half time on level terms?
Away from home 45 minutes in and drawing is always important as you’ve seen what the opposition has in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Then it’s your job as a management team to set your team up the best way to combat this and on the day the changes that we made- I thought - helped us to get the win.
Any stand out performers today?
I think again to go away from home and get the three points you have to be good collectively. Jack MacCarthy, Tom Roebuck, Sam Fewkes and Sam Smith gave us a great spine down the middle of the park and the rest off the lads around them all contributed to us getting the win.
Next up it's Swallownest at Sandygate. How do you see that one?
Another tough game. It’s a local Derby so all form goes straight out of the window. It will be who wants it the most on the day that get the result. It should make for a really good game. Let’s hope we get another fantastic crowd that come to support and hopefully we can repay them with another win.
Up the Hallam !!
Stephen Whitehead was talking to the Hallam FC Website