United Counties League
Kirby Muxloe 6
Harrowby United 1
Harrowby United endured another bad day at the office on an extremely wet surface at Leicestershire outfit Kirby Muxloe.
In wind and driving rain, it was never going to be a classic but the home side, two places above the Arrows at kick off, adapted to the conditions in a more positive fashion and soon had Harrowby under pressure.
In the fourth minute, Kirby’s Jordan Lever cut inside from the left and fired a shot just wide of Harrowby custodian Chris Bennett’s right hand post. Kirby took the lead in the 12th minute when a corner from the right was only partially cleared and, when the ball was chipped back into the penalty area, centre back Nick Cupwell was on hand to head the ball past Bennett.
The hosts continued to put Harrowby under pressure and the Arrows suffered a blow when they lost centre half Jack Whyley to a back injury after 20 minutes, as he slid in to win a tackle out on the left. A reshuffle saw striker Anderson Uduovie drop back into defence and substitute Lewis Godfrey come on to support Luke Peberdy up front.
A a minute later, Kirby doubled their lead when a ball over the Harrowby defence was taken on by Ahmad Saleh who then cleverly lobbed the ball over the advancing Bennett.
Harrowby suffered a let-off after 26 six minutes when a break down the right ended with a ball into the penalty area which presented a golden opportunity for Josh Burniston to increase his side’s lead, but the midfielder skied his shot from 10 yards out.
Harrowby’s run of bad luck with injuries continued after 36 minutes when wide man Tino Chavundura was forced to leave the field with a groin injury, replaced by Scott Floyd.
Three minutes later, Kirby increased their advantage when Harrowby conceded possession cheaply on the halfway line and the ball was moved quickly forward to Lever. The wide man took it on and crossed low from the byline for Carl Benson to bundle home from a couple of yards out.
Harrowby got back into the game in the 42nd minute when James Brown found some space out right to produce a fine cross into the penalty area which was turned into the net by Godfrey.
The Arrows’ good work in reducing the deficit lasted barely a minute as a lapse in concentration allowed Benson to pick up a loose ball on the edge of the box and fire past Bennett to send his side in three goals to the good at half time.
The second half was more of the same, the hosts in the ascendancy with Harrowby only able to mount an occasional counter attack.
Kirby’s fifth goal came in the 51st minute when again possession was given away in midfield, allowing the home side to get the ball through to Benson on the left of the penalty area. The striker took the ball inside and when perhaps the Arrows expected a cross, Benson fired the ball into the net from an acute angle.
Bennett produced the save of the game in the 69th minute, getting down well to turn the ball behind for a corner from a low drive from Aaron Love.
But Kirby made it a round half dozen in the 72nd minute when Lever crossed from the left and the unfortunate Uduovie headed into his own net under pressure from Benson.
A more than comfortable win for Kirby lifted them above Oadby Town and closer to safety, whereas the Arrows’ situation looks decidingly perilous, losing ground on a rival as games left tick by to make survival increasingly difficult.
Harrowby United: Bennett, Michniew (Farmer 51), Eatough, Currall (c), Whyley (Godfrey 20), Chavundura (Floyd 36), Browne, Hickey, Brown, Peberdy, Uduovie.