Gloucester City 5
Harrogate Town 2
A PHENOMENAL second-half performance, and a stunning Joe Parker hat-trick, saw Gloucester City demolish play-off chasing Harrogate Town.
Jake Gosling and Charlie Griffin also joined in on the goalscoring as Tim Harris’ side bounced back from consecutive defeats with a scintillating attacking display.
Parker had given the Tigers a late first-half lead, but a quick turnaround through finishes by Matt Heath and Ashley Worsfold put the Yorkshire outfit ahead.
Few City fans could have foreseen what would follow as four goals of the highest quality all but seals the club’s safety in the Skrill North.
The Yorkshire side started on the front foot with Adam Bolder knocking across a ball that just evaded Chris Hall in the centre.
Cleveland Taylor then found some space for the visitors to play in Michael Woods but Mike Green forced the winger wide of the goal.
The Tigers spurred into the contest with Jake Gosling unleashing a fizzing drive that drilled wide of the upright.
This was followed by Parker forcing Craig MacGillivray into a smart save after excellent build-up play with Lewis Hogg and Griffin.
It was then Matt Groves’ turn, but the City winger’s snap shot dribbled wide in an end to end contest.
Full-back Michael Green was called into action with a sublime tackle denying Hall in the penalty area before Anton Brown clipped the ball wide.
The Tigers broke the deadlock shortly before half-time after a fierce run and pass by Groves found Parker in acres of space to rifle home for the lead.
However, Harrogate responded immediately in the second half with Heath heading in from deep after Steve Mallory’s deep free-kick that bounced past Green.
The visitors shocked the Tigers a minute later with MacGillivray pumping the ball forward straight through to Worsfold who knocked past Green for a quick turnaround.
Then, in a phenomenally open start to the second period, a fantastically worked move by the Tigers saw Hogg find Parker behind the Harrogate defence to slot home his second of the game.
Parker, who was running riot, played through to Griffin who couldn’t caress the ball into the far post.
City’s lightning attack continued to cause issues and the Tigers retook the lead after a sensational dink through by Parker found Gosling who poked past MacGillivray.
And the lead was extended shortly after with Joe Parker completing his second senior hat-trick after Groves had played him through.
Substiute Craig Nelthorpe fizzed a free-kick into the safe hands of Green as the visitors, who were visibly shocked, tried to find an avenue back into the game.
But, with four minutes remaining the contest was put out of reach with Griffin caressing home a fifth that secured victory and near enough secures league safety for the Tigers.
Gloucester City: M. Green, M. Green, B. Jones, M. Coupe, J. Harris, R. Winters, L. Hogg, M. Groves (E. Williams 79), J.Parker (N. Jarvis 76), C. Griffin (W. Morford 87), J. Gosling. Subs not used: M. Roome, M. Giglio
Harrogate Town:@ C. MacGillivray, M. Bloomer, D. Merris, A. Brown, S. Mallory, M. Heath, C. Taylor (C. Nelthorpe 76), A. Bolder, C. Hall, A. Worsfold, M. Woods (J. Smith 66). Subs not used: D. Samuels, C. Sellars, P. Crook