Harrogate move big step towards survival after easing past Walsall
Sam Folarin, Kazeem Olaigbe and Alex Pattison were all on target as Harrogate took a massive stride towards League Two safety following a 3-0 home triumph over Walsall.
The Sulphurites made it six games without defeat – equalling their longest EFL unbeaten run – in comfortable fashion against a sorry Saddlers side, who have now won just one of their last 21 contests.
Victory also moved Simon Weaver’s men six points clear of the drop zone as second-bottom Hartlepool lost 2-0 at Salford.
Harrogate forged ahead in the 10th minute when Luke Armstrong pulled the ball back from the right byline and, after Pattison scuffed his shot, Folarin showed greater composure to tuck the ball into the bottom corner from six yards at the far post.
The hosts were denied a second goal when Armstrong was flagged marginally offside but Walsall twice went close to levelling before the break with Matty Stevens shooting inches wide and Mark Oxley making a brilliant reflex save to keep out Brandon Comley’s near-post header.
Harrogate doubled their advantage, though, in the 66th minute when sub Matty Daly’s shot was blocked and the ball broke to Olaigbe, who fired emphatically into Owen Evans’ top-left corner from 20 yards.
Pattison went on to add a third 10 minutes later with his ninth goal of the season, stabbing past the onrushing Evans after bursting on to Daly’s ball through the left channel.