FA Cup heartbreak for Harrowby

Harrowby United skipper and man-of-the-match Billy Stubbs (right) receives his pre-match instructions from the referee at Long Eaton on Saturday.
Harrowby United skipper and man-of-the-match Billy Stubbs (right) receives his pre-match instructions from the referee at Long Eaton on Saturday.
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FA Cup

Extra Preliminary Round

Long Eaton United 2

Harrowby United 1

The romance of the FA Cup is still yet to sweep Harrowby United off their feet as their second venture into the world’s greatest cup competition ended in heartache as Long Eaton hit a late winner – just three minutes from time.

The Arrows got off to a great start when the game’s first corner was whipped over from the right and Sam Hill headed home from inside the six yard box.

The home side responded well and were denied in the 13th minute when a free kick on the edge of the area the ball was charged down by Harowby’s defensive wall. Four minutes later, a strike from the edge of the box flew just wide of the right hand post.

Long Eaton’s best opportunity of the first half came after 25 minutes when a header back towards Arrows keeper Jack Drury from Hill fell for Brad Wells who shot wide.

Harrowby went close to doubling their lead just after the half hour mark when a fine cross across the six yard box just eluded an advancing Sam Weatherstone.

Long Eaton came out for the second half with real purpose and had Harrowby on the back foot from the off. On 50 minutes, a free kick from Michael Armstrong was laid off to Ross Parker whose low drive was well saved by Drury at the base of his right hand post.

The home side kept up the pressure, forcing the Arrows into virtually non-stop defending. Drury did well to beat away a rasping 66th minute free kick as the Harrowby rearguard of Lewis Watson, Jack Whyley, Hill and man-of-the-match Billy Stuubs did well to soak up wave after wave of Long Eaton attacks.

After 71 one minutes, Drury tipped over a cross-cum-shot from Long Eaton substitute Aaron Dillion. From the resulting corner, the Blues finally forced an equaliser. The ball was not cleared and, in the ensuing scramble, Ross Parker stabbed the ball home from inside the six yard box.

Despite introducing fresh legs, Harrowby struggled to create any threat to the Long Eaton goal. At the other end, Drury saved an Armstrong shot after 77 minutes as the clock ticked down.

The decisive goal came in the 87th minute when a ball into the Arrows area was knocked out only as far as Armstrong who rifled a sweet right foot shot past a helpless Drury from 25 yards out, a strike worthy of winning any game.

Long Eaton saw out the remaining minutes to progress in the competition and leave Harrowby still looking for their elusive first FA Cup victory.

Harrowby United: Drury, Whyley, Watson, Hill, Stubbs (c), Currall, Weatherstone, Bolland, Durkin (Grundy, 86), Carr (Fraser 67). Subs not used: Helsdown, Self, Rhodes, Floyd, Andersen.