Harrowby United beaten but not disgraced against Rushden and Diamonds

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HARROWBY United faced possibly their toughest home game of the season on Saturday, losing by three goals to Rushden & Diamonds.

The away side - resurrected from the ashes of the former league for the 2012/13 season - travelled to Harrowby with around 220 fans in support, turning the fixture into practically a home tie.

Both sides wore black armbands following the loss last week of Harrowby United stalwart Les “Stan” Staniland and a minute’s applause was held before kick-off.

Mark Fardell, joint manager of Harrowby United with Jay Harrison, said: “Rushden were fantastic and really professional. You couldn’t ask for more from an away side.”

United were unlucky to lose an early goal when Matt Hodgkin was adjudged to have brought down Diamonds’ striker Alfie Taylor who dusted himself off and converted the spot kick.

Harrowby went in at the break trailing by a single goal but their opponents turned the screw in the second-half with Alfie Taylor scoring a quick second goal.

Fardell said: “In the second half their experience told. They have two or three older blokes who used to play for them in the football league and have been there and done it.

“The second goal just deflated us and we looked very tired towards the end.

“They were very organised and have played together for a long time but we didn’t disgrace ourselves.”

Jamie Gilsenan made it three mid-way through the second-half with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

The result means Harrowby, who were also resurrected this season as a club, have lost their first three league games.

Fardell said: “You are always disappointed to lose but we really held our own. We didn’t get the result but that’s football.

“It’s been a difficult start. The first month has been difficult, playing two of the title contenders but in the next few games we are facing other teams in and around us so hopefully we can pick up points.

“We were under no illusions it was going to be difficult - the step up from the Grantham League is big but it is in organisation rather than footballing ability.”

lHarrowby United are away to Raunds Town on Saturday.