United Counties League
Harrowby United 1
Rushden & Higham United 1
Harrowby United returned to second in the league after they salvaged a point right at the death with a disputed penalty two minutes into added time against their visitors from Northamptonshire.
In difficult blustery conditions, the Arrows had the best of the first half, creating plenty of chances but failing to find the killer final touch in front of goal.
After only two minutes, Craig Wilson played a through-ball into the area for Lee Shaw who delayed his shot and allowed the danger to be cleared. Shaw was put through with only keeper Aaron Cormack to beat in the 14th minute. The Lankies keeper did well to save Shaw’s goalbound effort with his legs. A minute later, a ball across the visitors’ penalty area fell to Webb eight yards out, but the Arrows wide man shot high over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
Other chances followed, with man-of-the-match Kahmeal Spence heading just over from a corner and another aerial effort from Liam Harper was saved by Cormack. After 38 minutes, Harper set Shaw away only for the Arrows striker to fire his shot into the side netting.
Harrowby were caught cold in the opening minute of the second half, conceding almost immediately. A quick throw-in on the left was knocked inside to Harry May who found himself with time and space to control the ball and fire home past a helpless Jack Drury in the Arrows goal.
The Lankies grew in confidence after the goal and enjoyed much more possession in what was a scrappy second half. Harrowby were restricted to few chances although Sam Kirton was unlucky with a shot from distance that just cleared the bar.
The game’s outcome was effectively decided by two contentious incidents in the last 10 minutes. The first was when Arrows defender Spence brought down Lankies player Craig Harrower just outside the penalty area, as the striker was through on goal. Referee Mr Saunby awarded the free kick but, to the indignation of the Rushden players and dugout, only cautioned Spence which allowed the home side to keep their full complement of players.
The second decision to incense the visitors came in the second minute of stoppage time when, after a scramble in the Lankies penalty area, the ball appeared to strike a defender’s arm and Mr Saunby had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
After the disputes were waved away, Webb kept his nerve to confidently watch the keeper go one way and stroke the ball into the net to get the Arrows out of jail.
Harrowby United: Drury, Neaverson (Peberdy, 85), Preston, Spence, Whyley (c), Harper, Kirton, Jaques (Lee, 78), Webb, Wilson, Shaw. Subs not used: Vorley, Hill, Hotchin.