Harrowby United lose by the odd goal in five

All a bit of a blur: Arrows man of the match Jonny Hotson saves with his foot in the first half.
All a bit of a blur: Arrows man of the match Jonny Hotson saves with his foot in the first half.
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United Counties League

Premier Division

AFC Kempston Rovers 3

Harrowby United 2

A patched up Harrowby United side, missing players through Injury, suspension and unavailability due to the early kick-off, made the trip to Bedfordshire and lost by the odd goal in five to high-flying AFC Kempston Rovers.

In a game kicking off early due to floodlight problems for the hosts, the Walnut Boys made the most of another sluggish start by the Arrows, with Josh Winter and Dom Masala both firing shots over the bar in the opening minutes.

Kempston took the lead just before the quarter hour mark when a move down the left saw John Currall tackle to halt Winter as he got to the byline. Billy Stubbs hooked away the loose ball but it was crossed back in immediately and Sam Macrae headed home from the edge of the six yard box.

Kempston pressed for a second but found Arrows keeper Jonny Hotson in fine form. On 16 minutes a corner was headed out as far as Marsala whose well struck shot was superbly tipped over the cross bar by Hotson, diving to his left to get a strong hand to the ball. And Simon Bolland did well to block a goalbound effort from Kempston striker Jermaine Ivy as Rovers turned the screw.

Arrows man of the match Hotson kept the home side’s half time lead to a single goal when just before half time a cross from the right took a deflection off Arrows’ Rick Brewer. Hotson dived to his right to parry the ball before Bolland hacked to safety. Right on half time the big keeper again saved from Marsala, this time sticking out his left leg to divert away a low shot destined for the bottom corner.

Harrowby started the second half with a greater determination and, after another Hotson save three minutes in, finally started to take the game to their hosts. After 49 minutes Bolland advanced from right back and delivered a teasing cross in behind the Kempston defence which found its way to the far post and was bundled into the net by Aaron Martin.

Enjoying by far their best spell in the game, Harrowby took the lead against their so far unbeaten opposition. A ball out of defence found Martin on the right. The Harrowby midfielder drove forward and with great awareness squared a fine ball into the path of Scott Floyd. The young substitute produced an excellent right foot finish, smashing the ball past a helpless Martin Conway in the Kempston goal from just inside the box.

A combination of Kempston upping their tempo and Harrowby going into their shell a little, saw the home side regain the ascendancy. Hotson made saves in the 60th and 62nd minute as the introduction of Kempston substitutes Ash Fuller and Jason Turner upped the pressure on the visitors.

Fuller levelled after 65 minutes when he cut in from the right and fired an unstoppable shot past the helpless Hotson from the right edge of the box.

Harrowby will be disappointed with Kempston’s winner on 72 two minutes when a Fuller corner from the right found centre back Alex Styles. His run went unchecked and he powered home a free header past Hotson.

The home side comfortably saw out the game and ended Harrowby’s four match winning run.

Harrowby United: Hotson, Bolland, Currall, Brewer (Wilcocks, 73), Stubbs (c), Webb (Dunn, 76), Hillier, Stainfield, Martin, Wilkinson, Carr (Floyd, 45).

n Harrowby United are at home to Kirby Muxloe on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.