McCreadie rescues late draw to deny Railway

Toolstation NCEL Division One 

Harrogate Railway 1-1 Campion 

Campion forward Andy McCreadie celebrates his 90th minute equaliser with Mohammad Qasim in the 1-1 draw with Harrogate Railway

Andy McCreadie rescued a last gasp point for last season’s runners-up to deny new Harrogate Railway manager Des Macorison his dream start on the NCEL opening day.

Brave Railway had led for 82 minutes as star summer signing Joe Jagger, living up to his pre-season billing, burst onto the NCEL scene with a early header.

Although the finish was cruel on Railway, Campion deserved their point having created so many chances in the second half and fired so many bullets on Railway’s door that the experts were about to certify it as bulletproof.

If it wasn’t for the heroics of goalkeeper Joe Wilton, the Bradford-based side would have equalised far earlier.

Take nothing away from Railway though. The draw against one of the league’s top sides is a major step in the right direction. Macorison has clearly built the best Railway squad since the great Billy Miller days and the club’s supporters and volunteers will have gone away from Station View feeling really positive about the new season.

The front three of Jagger, Toby Harris and Paddy Sykes showed they will be a match for anyone in the league. Jagger will be Railway’s most prolific goal-scorer since Nathan Cartman, while Harris, signed from Ilkley Town, will add a physical presence not seen at Station View since Malachi Farquharson.

Railway’s performance shows just hard they worked in pre-season. To say this was their first game together, Macorison’s side looked like they had been together for years.

The game-plan was stuck to and rewards were reaped straight-away. Railway caught Campion out on the counter-attack after breaking down the right. James Heeley crossed and the unmarked Jagger, tipped to have a similar effect on the NCEL as Eli Hey did with Campion in 2015, rose to head home.

Wilton was brought into the action midway through the first half, with two excellent saves in quick succession.

Railway ended the opening stanza with Matthew Whitehead firing narrowly wide from distance.

Harrogate Railway captain Joe Jagger, tipped to have a similar effect on the NCEL like Eli Hey did with Campion in 2015, strikes for goal
Clearly the feel-good factor is back at Harrogate Railway
Harrogate defender Fraser Lancaster in battle with Danny Facey
Toby Harris adds a physical presence not seen at Station View since Malachi Farquharson
Josh Shields in action for Harrogate Railway
Marcus Day on the attack for Campion
Des Macorison rallies his Harrogate Railway troops
Action from Harrogate Railway 1-1 Campion
Action from Harrogate Railway 1-1 Campion
Campion on the attack

Campion were a changed team in the second half. One of Railway’s weak spots is their defence and Campion exposed them numerous times. Former Albion Sports striker Danny Facey got in behind within 60 seconds of the start of the second half and rattled the post.

Campion lost Facey and strike-partner Marcus Day to injury, with the latter being carried off and taken to hospital. The loss of two key players affected Campion as the relentless charge at Railway’s goal began to wane although substitute Adam Shaw, the former Yorkshire Amateur forward, was denied by Wilton who pushed his free kick onto the post.

Railway could smell the three points, but in a fashion typical of the last four years it wasn’t to be and the equaliser came from the only time Railway’s defence switched off. All Railway’s defenders were stood still as substitute Mohammed Qasim sneaked in. Qasim watched as his close range effort came back off-the-post and McCreadie pounced to score from two-yards.

Maybe harsh on Railway, but no more than Campion deserved.

The Teams 

Harrogate Railway: Wilton, Heeley, Blacker (Swales), Jordan, Lancaster, Shields, Whitehead, Greeway (Ferguson), Jagger (captain), Harris (McCrum), Sykes. Sub unused: Grainger.

Campion: Lampton, Carney, Riley, Graham (Qasim), Hall (captain), Kirkpatrick, Cusack, Ponter, Facey (Shaw), Day (McCreadie), Hurles-Brook. Sub unused: Hamilton.

Who Was In Charge

Will Cavanagh (10/10)

A excellent display from Mr Cavanagh. 

How Many Were There


Man of the Match 

Joe Wilton (Harrogate Railway)

Harrogate Railway goalkeeper Joe Wilton received a standing ovation in the Station View clubhouse afterwards

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