Harrowby United’s unbeaten run comes to an end

Man-of-the-match Joe Clarke
Man-of-the-match Joe Clarke
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United Counties League

Premier Division

Harrowby United 1

Thurnby Nirvana 3

Harrowby United’s five-game unbeaten run came to an end at the Environcom Stadium at the hands of third-placed Thurnby Nirvana.

The opening half hour saw Harrowby with slightly the upper hand although neither keeper was seriously threatened.

The first real goal scoring opportunity came in the 32nd minute when a good move down the left by the visitors from Leicester saw the ball played into the Arrows penalty area. A shot through a crowd of players was superbly blocked first by Billy Stubbs, the rebound by Jack Whyley, a third attempt by Sam Weatherstone on the line, before the scramble was finally abated by a fine diving save from Harrowby keeper Jack Drury, as Thurnby held their heads in their hands that they had not found the back of the net.

They did, however, take the lead a minute into first half stoppage time. After a patient build-up around the Arrows penalty area, William Gonga played the ball inside to Liam Canavan who found Thurnby skipper Matt Melbourne who had timed his run well to stay onside and finished with a first time right foot shot which gave Drury no chance.

The second half began as the first with chances at a premium for both sides. On the hour mark, Thurnby goalkeeper James Flinders did well to deny Lee Shaw who, when played in by Simon Bolland, tried to chip the ball over the big stopper who got his hands to it at full stretch. Flinders again did well when he tipped over an effort from Harrowby man-of-the match Joe Clarke.

Nirvana doubled their advantage after 79 minutes when midfielder Canavan found himself some space in the box and laid a perfect square ball for Gonga to fire home from around 12 yards out.

Six minutes from time, Thurnby put the outcome beyond doubt when, after a move down the right, the ball was fed inside to top scorer Canavan who slotted home his 31st first goal of the season.

Harrowby kept going and were rewarded with a consolation goal a minute from time. Shaw was brought down about 25 yards from goal and Clarke stepped up to fire home a sweet left foot shot which left Flinders rooted to his spot.

Harrowby United: Drury (c), Weatherstone, Clarke, Stubbs, Whyley, Harper, Currall, Bolland (Bradford, 80), Potts (Peberdy, 78), Carr, Shaw. Sub not used: Daykin.