United Counties League
Harrowby United 6
Wellingborough Whitworths 2
The Arrows progressed to the last 16 of the United Counties League Knockout Cup with a comfortable victory over Wellingborough Whitworths, inspired by a hat trick from man-of- the-match Danny Durkin.
The home side made the running from the off and were unlucky not to take the lead when Liam Harper sprang the Flourmen’s offside trap before lobbing advancing keeper Lee Baxter, only to see the ball clear the crossbar by a few inches.
Chances in the opening half hour came and went as Durkin tried to round the keeper but showed too much of the ball to Baxter, while Bobby Lee dragged a shot wide of the goal and Olly Dyson had a shot deflected wide.
Dyson hit the side netting and Jack Whyley headed over before the deadlock was broken.
A good break down the left flank by Dyson ended with a deep cross to the far post for Harper, whose well-placed header picked out Lee.
Lee produced a low drive just inside the post which gave Baxter no chance.
Whitworths responded with controversial equalizer after 42 minutes.
A good move down the right resulted in a cross which found Jamie White, his shot appearing to be blocked on the goalline only for the referee’s assistant to signal for a goal.
Harrowby’s lead was restored on the stroke of half time when a move down the left saw Dyson play a ball inside to Durkin on the edge of the penalty area, the Young Arrows striker taking a touch before beating Baxter with a well-placed shot.
Harrowby stepped up a gear in the second half and made it 3-1 after 50 minutes.
A ball over the top of the Whitworths defence was picked up by Durkin, who advanced on goal before smashing the ball past Baxter.
A fourth goal arrived six minutes later when a dangerous free kick into the box by Christian Andersen eluded everyone and nestled in the corner of the net.
Harrowby, who were low on numbers, lost Harper to a knee injury after 71 minutes, leaving keeper Jack Drury to come off the bench and take up an outfield position.
After 73 minutes a fine run from Sam Weatherstone split the Whitworth’s defence and he slipped the ball inside to Durkin, who produced a cool finish to complete his hat-trick.
Two minutes later Durkin crossed for Drury, who failed to get enough purchase on his header to trouble Baxter.
Whitworths pulled a goal back after 77 minutes when a long ball over the top was collected by White, who produced a great strike to beat Craig Rhodes.
But two minutes later the four-goal cushion was restored when a well-timed run from Simon Bolland saw the midfielder get on the end of a through ball to scoop the ball over the keeper and into the net.
A minute into stoppage time Baxter made a fine save to deny Lee, who was unselfishly presented with a shooting opportunity after a good lay off from Drury.
HAROWBY: Rhodes, Weatherstone, Watson, Hill, Whyley, Dyson, Andersen, Bolland, Harper (Drury 71), Lee, Durkin.
On Saturday, Harrowby travel to face Eastwood Community in the FA Vase (KO 3pm), before Tuesday’s Lincs Senior Cup clash at Bourne Town (KO 7.45pm).