Harrogate Town 2 Hartlepool United 1: Nicky Deverdics nets consolation as Pools edged out in North Yorkshire

Nicky Deverdics
Nicky Deverdics

Hartlepool United suffered their first defeat in pre-season when they conceded two second-half goals at Harrogate Town.

After plundering 13 goals at Billingham Town and Dunston, a trip to the National League North outfit was always going to be a step up in class for Craig Harrison's side.

And so it proved with sub Dominic Knowles and George Thomson scoring in the space off 11 minutes.

Nicky Deverdics scored a last-minute stunner with a 20-yard free-kick.

Harrogate had the better of a goalless first period, with Jordan Thewlis having a shot deflected for a corner before shooting over with a difficult chance when he had an empty net to aim at.

There was little to encourage the sizeable away contingent with the first shot not arriving until the 29th minute when Padraig Amond shot wide after good work down the left by Junior Mondal.

Amond went high over the bar four minutes later after a long ball from debutant Conor Newton, with Liam Donnelly trying his luck from outside the box just before the break.

Those attempts aside there was little to report from the first half.

Harrison made five second half changes with Donnelly and triallist James Risborough at the heart of the defence, with Rhys Oates the main man up top.

Oates had the distinction of getting the first shot on target inside two minutes though keeper James Belshaw saved with comfort.

Town wasted a free-kick in a great position 10 minutes into the second half when Joe Leesley put his attempt straight into the grey wall.

Pools came close to taking a 67th-minute lead when Oates seized on a home error and put his shot goalwards, only to see Belshaw make a good stop.

It was to prove a pivotal intervention as Harrogate raced up the other end to take the lead, KNOWLES converting at the far post after a splendid low cross from the right by George Thomson.

And Town doubled their lead in the 77th minute when THOMSON drove a blistering shot from just outside the box. Nielson got a hand to it but could not keep it out.

Pools pulled one back in the last minute when DEVERDICS thumped in a free-kick after sub Michael Woods had been tripped.

But the full-time whistle went soon after with Town deserved winners.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Middleton, Burrell, O'Hanlon (Parker 30), Thomson, Emmett, Falkingham, Leesley, Thewlis (Knowles 63), Ainge (Day 68).

Goals: Knowles 67, Thomson 77

Pools: Pierson, Donnelly, Harrison (Richardson 46), Laing (Adams 46), Risborough, Hawkins (Deverdics 58), Featherstone (Donaldson 46), Newton (Hawkes 46), Mondal, Smith (Woods 58), Amond (Oates 46).

Unused subs: Loach, Blackford, Travers

Goal: Deverdics 90

Referee: Matthew Dicicco

Att: 731