United Counties League
Wisbech Town 4
Harrowby United 1
Harrowby United came out second best in the first ever meeting between the two clubs.
The Arrows travelled with a depleted squad due to injuries and unavailability but were still in confident mood.
The ‘Fenmen’ started the game brightly and put Harrowby on the back foot from the off. The first goal came from a disputed penalty kick awarded for a challenge by Sam Hill where the Arrows skipper appeared to get the ball. Referee Mr Prytherch thought differently and pointed to the spot. Josh Ford Ford stepped up to deposit the ball past Arrows custodian Aiden Hotchin and into the bottom corner.
Two minutes later, good link-up play between Martin Wormall and Lee Shaw ended with the latter shooting just wide.
Wisbech doubled their lead after 21 minutes when they broke clear as Harrowby appealed for offside. The officials got it spot on as Ford went through, laying the ball off to Stuart Cobb who rolled the ball into an empty net.
Wisbech’s summer signing, Danny Beaumont, put the game out of Harrowby’s reach inside the half hour mark with goals after 24 and 29 nine minutes, the second looking marginally offside.
After 37 minutes, Arrows man-of-the-match Aiden Hotchin produced a fine reaction save on his goal line, diverting the ball away from a strongly hit shot.
A much improved second period from the Arrows saw them score the only goal of the half. Wisbech were frustrated by good defending and fine goalkeeping as United dug in to prevent a rout.
The Fenmen were awarded a second penalty after 79 minutes. This time there were no doubts as 16-year-old Rui Cardoso, making his debut, brought down a Wisbech attacker, the youngster earning a yellow card for his troubles. Adam Milson took the spot kick this time and saw his effort superbly kept out by Hotchin, diving to his left to push the ball away.
The Arrows’ endeavour and hard work were rewarded in the 84th minute when John Currall was brought down on the edge of the Wisbech penalty area. Wormall stepped up to curl the free kick around the wall and into the bottom right hand corner, just out of the reach of Wisbech keeper Lea Jordan.
A frustrating afternoon for the Arrows was made worse by later learning that influential midfielder Simon Bolland, who broke down in the warm-up, had in fact fractured his leg in the game against Thurnby Nirvana.
Harrowby United: Hotchin, Cardoso, Clarke, Stubbs, Whyley, Weatherstone, Hill (c), Currall, Peberdy (Mayes, 75), Wormall, Shaw.