United Counties League
Rothwell Corinthians 1
Harrowby United 1
Harrowby United travelled to Sergeants Lawn, home of Rothwell Corinthians, on a bright and sunny afternoon in Northamptonshire looking to end a losing sequence that had stretched to six games.
On a heavily sanded and extremely sticky pitch they did just that, turning in a battling performance that saw them come away with a hard earned point.
The Arrows started brightly and early pressure saw wide man Scott Floyd get down the left flank before crossing into the Rothwell penalty area. The ball was partially cleared as far as Tino Chavendura whose snapshot went wide.
After 12 minutes, Harrowby central midfielder Lorcan Hickey got his head to a corner from the right but saw his effort go wide of the post.
The home side settled into the game and, enjoying the lion’s share of possession, became an increasing threat.
On 23 minutes, Arrows custodian Chris Bennett, who was in fine form all afternoon, got down to make a comfortable save from a low drive by Lewis O’Dell. Bennett made an even better save just before the half hour mark, turning a Djedje Gomez shot round his left hand post at the expense of a corner.
Despite Rothwell’s pressure, Harrowby’s back four of Nick Eatough, Sam Weatherstone, John Currall and Jack Whyley defended well, ably supported by a hard working midfield. The Arrows were still a threat on the break and on 37 minutes Floyd created a shooting chance for Tom Parker whose effort was deflected behind for a corner.
Two minutes before the break, a good move down the left involving Floyd and Hickey ended with a low cross into the box which was well intercepted by Corinthian centre back Dan Cooper, who got to the ball just ahead of Arrows striker Anderson Uduovie.
The second half was more of the same, the hosts seeing more of the ball with Harrowby looking to strike on the break.
Four minutes after the interval Ben Browne, who worked tirelessly in centre midfield all afternoon, set Floyd away on goal but the youngster, under pressure from a defender, cut in from the left before dragging his shot past the right hand post.
Just past the hour mark, it seemed that Harrowby’s bad luck had returned when referee Mr O’Sullivan, who handled a game in difficult underfoot conditions well, failed to spot Hickey sliding in to play the ball out for a corner. Mr O’Sullivan missed the midfielder’s touch on the ball, believing him to have impeded Gomez, and awarded the home side a penalty kick.
Hickey was awarded a yellow card for his trouble and was joined in the referee’s notebook by two further yellows for Bennett and Currall for their protestations. Jordan Henson stepped up to despatch the spot kick into the net and leave the Arrows thinking perhaps it wasn’t their day again.
The visitors’ luck changed in the 70th minute when a poor throw out by Rothwell keeper Liam Waddy was picked up by an alert Floyd who carried the ball forward before audaciously lobbing over a helpless Waddy and into the net to level proceedings.
A good 79th minute break down the right by Chavendura ended when he played the ball inside to Browne whose shot was deflected behind. Whyley headed just over the cross bar from the resulting corner.
Six minutes from time, Browne was on hand for defensive duties at the other end, clearing a header from a corner by Corinthian Aaron Campian off the line at the foot of the right hand upright.
Rothwell finished the game strongly and, as the game went into the final minute of the 90, Bennett saved well from Henson, keeping the ball out with an outstretched left leg from a low drive.
A creditable, well earned point then, on a heavy pitch as the Arrows they look to accumulate the points which will move them out of the second relegation spot.
Harrowby United: Bennett, Eatough (Godfrey 60), Weatherstone, Currall (c), Whyley, Floyd, Browne, Hickey, Chavendura (Matongo 85), Uduovie, Parker.