Hastings United will have to do it the hard way if they are to join the Premier League big guns in the third round of the FA Cup.
The “U’s” trail at 1-0 at half-time at Harrogate Town in a cup tie being played on a heavy pitch in North Yorkshire.
The only goal came on 40 minutes when a deep corner from the left was hooked back across goal for Tom Pratt to stab home from close range.
Harrogate had much the better of the first 25 minutes and Matt Armstrong-Ford was a busy man in the United goal.
The hosts had a goal disallowed on 10 minute. Harrogate’s Paul Beesley had the ball in the net only to be penalised for a lunging tackle on Armstrong-Ford.
Moments later, the United keeper saved bravely at the feet of a clean through Beesley and then the Harrogate striker fired an angled drive just wide of the far post after the ball broke kindly to him in the box.
United enjoyed their first spell of sustained pressure around the half hour mark when Zac Attwood had a close range effort blocked and later headed onto the foot of the net.
Harrogate weathered the storm and took the lead through Pratt, before Harrogate’s Dave Merris flashed a shot just wide from outside the box.
All is not lost for United, though, because they were in exactly the same positon to Bishop Stortford in the last round and came back to win 2-1.