Harrogate earn promotion to EFL with Wembley defeat of Notts County

Harrogate Town will play in the EFL for the first time in their history next season
Harrogate Town will play in the EFL for the first time in their history next season - (Copyright PA Wire)
17:19pm, Sun 02 Aug 2020
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Harrogate stunned Notts County at Wembley to claim a place in the English Football League for the first time in their history.

The North Yorkshire side ran out deserved 3-1 winners in the Vanarama National League play-off final after a dominant display at the national stadium.

George Thomson and Connor Hall put Town into a commanding lead in the first half and Jack Diamond settled the contest after Callum Roberts gave County hope.

Harrogate Town are celebrating a stunning victory - (Copyright PA Wire)

Aaron Martin and Jon Stead also hit the woodwork on a historic afternoon for Harrogate that condemned County, founder members of the Football League, to a second successive season outside of it.

Harrogate were not fazed on what was the biggest occasion in their history and started superbly, with Thomson sliding in to turn home Ryan Fallowfield’s cross after just five minutes.

Martin almost added a second soon after when he dragged a shot narrowly wide but Hall did strike on 28 minutes when he diverted in a Thomson free-kick at the back post.

The Magpies were struggling and were fortunate to escape further damage when Martin thumped a close-range effort against the post.

However, they rallied after the break and pulled a goal back with their first shot on target after 46 minutes as Roberts curled in a fine free-kick.

They pushed for an equaliser but were caught out when Stead fed Jack Muldoon and his cross was turned in by Diamond on 70 minutes.

Harrogate goalkeeper James Belshaw, Nottingham-born and a former County academy player, prevented a frantic finish with a good save to deny Kyle Wootton.

Stead then almost had the final word when he hit the post late on.

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