United Counties League
Harrowby United 2
Boston Town 1
Harrowby entertained Boston Town in their first league fixture of the season on Tuesday night and produced almost a mirror image of their FA Cup game three days earlier.
Going down to an earlier strike from the visitors, Harrowby gained confidence and produced an excellent second half display with a brace of goals from Joe Braithwaite, making his league debut for the club.
Boston started the more confident with some slick passing and forced a corner in the first minute but Drury in the Harrowby goal gathered the resulting kick with ease.
A quick throw released Sean Woolley down the Harrowby left. His pass was collected by Wilkinson who in turn split the defence with his pass, finding Bilyk in space but after rounding the keeper he fired into the side netting.
Boston pressed hard after that and were rewarded in the ninth minute when Jack Wrightwick collected a loose ball before firing past Drury from 20 yards to give the visitors an early lead.
Harrowby had a decent appeal for a penalty in the 18th minute denied after Wilkinson’s shot was blocked. Two minutes later, Joe Elliot fired over the bar after Woolley created space down the left.
Drury was called into action again, tipping over the bar on the half hour mark when Borbely tried his luck with a cheeky chip. Both teams had chances in the remaining minutes of the half, but defences stood firm.
Harrowby started the second half on top and when manager Nick Andersen made three quick substitutions, introducing Peberdy, Jaques and Andersen, United started to take control – and efforts from Watson and Wilkinson almost drew the teams level.
Just past the hour mark, Harrowby found the important equaliser after Wilkinson found Braithwaite in space and he made no mistake, firing low to the keeper’s left.
The Arrows were now playing with confidence and were again unlucky not to take the lead when Jaques saw his header narrowly go wide with the keeper stranded.
Boston settled and had a good period but found Stubbs and Whyley in the Harrowby defence hard to crack.
Harrowby took the lead in the 79th after Watson’s confident run down the left was rewarded with a corner, and from the resulting kick Braithwaite outjumped everyone to head home.
Boston pushed hard in the last 10 minutes with Daryl Clare going close, and in the closing minutes the visitors bombarded the Harrowby defence with long throws, but again they were up to the task and held firm, securing the Arrows all three points and the perfect start to the season.
Harrowby are at home on Saturday when they entertain Northampton ON Chenecks at the Environcom Stadium, kick-off 3pm, and play again on Tuesday evening when they travel to Peterborough Sports, kick-off 7.45pm.