Eccleshill United 4-0 Harrogate Railway
Des Macorison was given a glimpse of the big task ahead after watching his side fall to defeat at Eccleshill United in his first friendly in charge of Harrogate Railway.
But it was not all negative for the new Railway manager. Although they were two goals down after just five minutes as Chris Lever and Jonny Irving struck, Railway enjoyed a lot of the ball and had multiple opportunities to score.
Macorison, Railway’s seventh permanent manager since Billy Miller ended his memorable tenure in 2015, is having to create a brand new squad as effectively all of the team that was relegated from the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division have left.
His task to arrest a slide that has seen them suffer two relegations since Miller left after guiding Railway to their highest ever league finish.
The performance at Eccleshill cannot be taken as an indication of what is to come. His marquee signing Joe Jagger is injured. So are a few others, so the side that faced Lee Elam’s Eccleshill – another team going through a rebuilding phase, contained many trialists.
The Railway supporters must have thought ‘here we go again’ inside the first five minutes as kamikaze defending gifted the home side two goals.
Lever, a handful every week of the season, was left alone and after latching onto Irving’s flick, finished with ease.
Irving hit the second goal after Railway’s defence fell asleep and he was able to go one-on-one with the Railway goalkeeper.
The visitors gradually sprang into life and created several chances. Former Emley man Paddy Sykes had the best after evading the Eccleshill defenders. The attacker got himself into a goal-scoring position, but his goal-bound attempt was thwarted by an outstanding save from new Eccleshill goalkeeper Bradley Emmerson.
Further chances followed, but Harrogate could not break down the door.
To add to their frustrations, Eccleshill got a third as half-time approached. Irving and Lever were involved again in the build-up as new signing Talent Ndlovu found the net.
The second half was a non-event with little to note, other than Eccleshill’s late fourth goal through Hasnain Mohammed.