Depleted and defeated – but Harrowby United still put on good show at Rushden & Diamonds

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Harrowby United travelled to the shared temporary home of reformed AFC Rushden and Diamonds – Wellingborough Town’s Dog and Duck ground – with a depleted squad due to injuries and suspensions, but acquitted themselves well again one of the division’s title favourites.

Chromasports United Counties League

Division One

Rushden & Diamonds 3

Harrowby United 2

The starting 11 had Louis Hamilton in midfield, on loan from AFC Stamford, and included Luke Peberdy on the bench, called up from Harrowby’s Reserves.

The Arrows started the game the brighter, creating all the early pressure, and so were shocked after 11 minutes when Diamonds went ahead against the run of play. Sean McBride broke down the right hand side and crossed for Ben Morgan to slot home.

The goal stirred the home side into life and more pressure followed, leading to a second goal for Morgan after 29 minutes when he chipped over Harrowby’s keeper, Jack Drury, from the right edge of the box, the ball going in off the underside of the crossbar.

A third goal followed on 32 minutes when a route one ball was chased by Jake Newman who benefited from a slip by Drury to reach the ball first and poke home.

Harrowby, to their credit, did not and in the second period set about restoring some pride. After 53 minutes, a ball into the box was controlled by Billy Stubbs whose shot was then well saved by home keeper Quincy Shorunmu. From the resulting corner, Arrows captain Jack Whyley powered a header which amazingly hit Shorunmu in the face and somehow stayed out.

Harrowby continued to press and and chances included a Whyley shot over the bar from a corner and a Sam Hill overhead kick that just cleared the frame of the goal. After a cynical foul on substitute Matt Hodgkin, Hamilton’s free kick also flew just over.

A not 100 per cent fit Hodgkin certainly made an impact in Harrowby’s midfield and he produced a thunderous tackle to win the ball after 85 minutes. He fed to Martin Wormall who unleashed an unstoppable 25 yard drive into the top right hand corner for his 11th goal of the season.

Harrowby continued to press and were refused a stonewall penalty by referee Mr Gurney when Liam Harper was brought down bursting into the box.

Just as the game entered the first of the six minutes of added time, a fine move brought the Arrows a second goal. Hill carried the ball into the Diamonds’ half. Peberdy slotted a great through-ball to Lee Shaw who calmly stroked home.

Diamonds held out for the remaining minutes but had a scare when Stubbs headed just wide from the last corner of the game.

Harrowby’s man of the match was Jack Whyley.

Harrowby United: Drury, Hill, Stubbs, Whyley (c), Preston (Gibson, 72), Weatherstone (Hodgkin, 59), Sheridan, Hamilton (Peberdy, 82), Harper, Wormall, Shaw. Subs not used: Vorley, Fardell. Att: 569.