United Counties League
Oadby Town 1
Harrowby United 2
Harrowby picked up an excellent three points at Freeway Park, home of Leicestershire opponents Oadby Town.
Jack Whyley’s strike just before the hour gave the Arrows the points by an odd goal in three in a game the Poachers might feel they deserved something from.
The home side started well and Harrowby keeper Jonny Hotson made the game’s first save after five minutes, pushing away a shot from the edge of the penalty area. After 16 minutes, a good move down the left saw Oadby’s Sam Grouse play a dangerous ball into the box which was scrambled clear back to the wide man, who then fired awry.
On 26 minutes, Louis Hamilton advanced down the left before squaring for Grouse who shot over the bar as Oadby continued their ascendancy in the first period.
But the Arrows took the lead against the run of play in the 36th minute when Scott Webb played a quality ball in behind the Oadby defence for Fraser Bayliss. With work still to be done, Bayliss held off a defender and calmly slotted the ball past advancing keeper Elliot Taylor to send the Arrows in a goal to the good at the break.
Oadby pushed straight from the restart and and were awarded a free kick in a central position, a yard outside the Arrows area, when Whyley tripped striker Kevin Charley. Hamilton stepped up to curl a fine free kick around the Harrowby wall and into the net, despite Hotson getting a touch with a despairing dive to his right.
After the leveller, the game became a more open affair with both sides making and wasting chances. Both Bayliss and Danny Durkin had shooting opportunities for Harrowby, while Grouse and Ollie Brown-Hill failed to trouble Hotson with chances at the other end.
The decisive goal arrived just before the hour mark when a superbly whipped in corner from the left by Scott Webb was met sweetly on the volley by Whyley, who fired past a helpless Taylor from 10 yards out.
After 63 minutes, a ball into the Harrowby penalty area was only half cleared and Charley was unlucky to see his shot bounce away off the foot of the right hand post.
Oadby felt that Harrowby’s impressive debutant Luke Parsons should have been sent off when he put an arm across the advancing Grouse, bringing the Oadby player down as he advanced towards the penalty area. But referee Mr O’Sullivan kept his cards in his pocket.
Harrowby soaked up whatever pressure Oadby mounted, the closest the hosts came to an equaliser being a shot from substitute Danny Page which was charged down and hacked to safety by Arrows sub John Currall.
The win lifted the Arrows to 11th position in the league, ahead of a League Knockout Cup game on Saturday against Cogenhoe United.
Harrowby’s man of the match was Ngoni Dongo.
Harrowby United: Hotson, Bolland, Dyson, Whyley, Stubbs (c), Parsons, Dunn (Currall, 79), Webb (Harper, 75), Dongo, Durkin, Bayliss. Subs not used: Andersen, Drury.