League Two
HarrogateHarrogate Town5CambridgeCambridge United4

Harrogate Town 5-4 Cambridge United: U's miss League Two promotion chance

Kevin Lokko of Harrogate Town celebrates after scoring his team's fifth goal against Cambridge United
Cambridge, 3-0 down after 20 minutes, fought back to make it 4-4 with 16 minutes left but were beaten by Kevin Lokko's winner

Cambridge United missed a chance to win promotion from League Two after falling to a dramatic 5-4 defeat at Harrogate Town, despite fighting back from 3-0 down.

Brendan Kiernan's double - the second a penalty - and Mark Beck's tap-in had the Yorkshire side in control after 20 minutes, but Wes Hoolahan and Luke Hannant replied for the U's before the half-hour mark.

Kiernan, who before kick-off had only scored one league goal this season, then prodded in to complete his hat-trick and put Harrogate 4-2 ahead at the break.

But Cambridge fought back, as Paul Mullin netted his 30th league goal of the campaign to halve the arrears on 59 minutes and then levelled the game from the penalty spot with 16 minutes left after being hacked down by Jay Williams.

Town defender Kevin Lokko drilled in through a crowded penalty box with six minutes remaining to snuff out the visitors' hopes of a winner, meaning Cambridge will have to wait to end their 19-year absence from the third tier.

The U's could yet be promoted on Saturday if both Morecambe and Tranmere Rovers fail to win their respective games, while victory in their final game of the season at home to relegated Grimsby would also be enough for Mark Bonner's side.

Harrogate, who had made eight changes from their last league outing, now race Concord Rangers in the rearranged 2019-20 FA Trophy final on Monday (17:00 BST).

Paul Mullin and Joe Ironside reflect on Cambridge's defeat at Harrogate Town
Cambridge United striker Paul Mullin (left) took his tally to 33 goals in all competitions this season, but was left to wonder about what might have been

Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

"It was a ridiculous game. With the stage of the season we are at and the consequences on the game, I'm really surprised it was like that.

"For us it was just way too open. We got counter-attacked way too easily in the first half.

"At 4-4 we were in good control of the game and looked a real threat, but then we conceded from a set play.

"We lost because we haven't defended properly."

Line-ups

Harrogate

Formation 4-4-2

  • 13Cracknell
  • 2Fallowfield
  • 5Smith
  • 26Lokko
  • 29RobertsSubstituted forBurrellat 67'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 7Thomson
  • 27WilliamsBooked at 73mins
  • 22Francis
  • 8Hondermarck
  • 14Kiernan
  • 9Beck

Substitutes

  • 1Belshaw
  • 4Falkingham
  • 6Burrell
  • 18Muldoon
  • 28McPake
  • 31Andrews

Cambridge

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 25BurtonBooked at 19mins
  • 2Knoyle
  • 6DrysdaleSubstituted forOkedinaat 45'minutes
  • 5Taylor
  • 3IredaleSubstituted forDunkat 45'minutes
  • 4DigbySubstituted forTraceyat 89'minutes
  • 7Hannant
  • 44BoatengSubstituted forMayat 83'minutes
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 20Ironside
  • 10Mullin

Substitutes

  • 8O'Neil
  • 11Dunk
  • 13McKenzie-Lyle
  • 15Okedina
  • 16Alese
  • 18Tracey
  • 19May
Referee:
Ollie Yates

Match Stats

Home TeamHarrogateAway TeamCambridge
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home18
Away21
Shots on Target
Home9
Away11
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Harrogate Town 5, Cambridge United 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Harrogate Town 5, Cambridge United 4.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe Ironside (Cambridge United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adam May with a cross.

  4. Post update

    Hand ball by Joe Ironside (Cambridge United).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Warren Burrell (Harrogate Town).

  6. Post update

    Joe Ironside (Cambridge United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Mark Beck (Harrogate Town).

  8. Post update

    Adam May (Cambridge United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Cambridge United. Shilow Tracey replaces Paul Digby.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Harrogate Town. Conceded by Harrison Dunk.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Paul Mullin (Cambridge United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joe Ironside with a headed pass.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Harrogate Town 5, Cambridge United 4. Kevin Lokko (Harrogate Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ed Francis (Harrogate Town) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Harrogate Town. Conceded by Callum Burton.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. George Thomson (Harrogate Town) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ed Francis.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Cambridge United. Adam May replaces Hiram Boateng.

  17. Post update

    Dangerous play by Greg Taylor (Cambridge United).

  18. Post update

    Ryan Fallowfield (Harrogate Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Cambridge United. Conceded by Brendan Kiernan.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. William Hondermarck (Harrogate Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Warren Burrell.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Cheltenham4423101157372079
2Cambridge452381470492177
3Bolton442210125447776
4Morecambe44219146558772
5Tranmere442012125448672
6Newport4419121355411469
7Salford4418141251331868
8Forest Green441813135450467
9Exeter4417151268482066
10Carlisle441711165749862
11Leyton Orient441710175149261
12Port Vale44179185753460
13Crawley441612165255-360
14Bradford441610184851-358
15Harrogate45169205157-657
16Stevenage441317143738-156
17Oldham44159207174-354
18Mansfield441119145054-452
19Walsall441119144551-652
20Barrow441310215156-549
21Colchester441017174361-1847
22Scunthorpe44138234163-2247
23Southend44914212656-3041
24Grimsby44913223666-3040
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