AFTER a thrilling 1-1 draw with Leeds in their opening game of the campaign, Huddersfield’s hopes of progress in the West Riding County FA Minor Cup were dashed when they entertained Harrogate FA at YMCA’s Laund Hill ground.
Huddersfield never found the same level as they produced against Leeds and, although David Pearson almost snatched an 80th minute equaliser, Harrogate deserved their victory.
From the start, the visitors’ speedy front runners proved a handful and Liam Tattersall, Stefan John and Adam Webb were pressed into some serious defending.
But an inability to escape from their own half kept Huddersfield under pressure and, inevitably, the visitors took the lead on 15 minutes when James Auckland rounded keeper Elliot Wilkinson to plant the ball into an empty net.
Huddersfield finally played their way into the game thanks to some enterprising work from Tattersall and Nicky Whiteley on the right and a deserved equaliser arrived on the half hour mark when Ben Burnett unleashed an unstoppable left foot shot from the edge of the area.
The home side were now enjoying their best spell of the game and, only a superb stop from keeper Joel Scoffield, denied Burnett from scoring a second but, with the half time whistle only minutes away, Huddersfield found themselves under pressure again.
Huddersfield were lucky not to concede when a succession of corners forced by the visitors led to John Rimmer crashing a shot against the crossbar but their luck ran out two minutes later when the same player fired home from 10 yards to leave manager Barry Fella with a half time headache.
The visitors were unable to reproduce the form which had seen them dominate much of the first half and Huddersfield enjoyed much more possession.
But the fear of Harrogate returning to form seemed to undermine the home side who defended much too deep to cause any real problems in attack.
Substitute Chris Adams managed to weave his way down the right flank several times but his crosses were easily dealt with by keeper Scoffield who put in an outstanding display to frustrate the home attackers.
With just 10 minutes remaining to salvage something Whiteley and Reece Wharah were unlucky not to make a breakthrough and the Harrogate supporters hearts stopped when Pearson finally beat the keeper, but his shot crashed against the underside of the crossbar and rebounded to safety.
With only one point from their opening two games Huddersfield will have to find a couple of wins from their remaining two games if they are to qualify for the knock-out stages.