First round qualifying
Cambridge Regional College 1
Harrowby United 2
Harrowby United marked their return to FA Vase action with a hard fought but well deserved victory at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium.
A great all-round team performance secured the win, coupled with two fantastic first half strikes from prolific marksman Martin Wormall.
The Arrows showed great character in overcoming the loss of two of their back four players to injury with just over half an hour gone.
The home side took the lead in the 22nd minute when a cross-field ball was played in behind right back Weatherstone and picked up by Owen Kerwan who took the ball on and calmly slotted the ball past Jack Drury in the Harrowby goal.
A little over a minute later, the scores were level again thanks to a superb individual effort from Wormall who on receiving the ball, flicked it over a defender before smashing home on the half volley from the edge of the penalty area.
After 28 minutes, Drury came to Harrowby’s rescue when he saved James Akintunde’s effort with his legs after the CRC forward had sprung the Arrows offside trap.
Harrowby almost went in front on the half hour mark when Jamie Preston progressed down the left before passing inside to Lee Shaw whose shot was cleared off the line by Mitchell Hancock. Seven minutes before the break, the visitors should have gone in front when CRC keeper Dillan McNulty parried a shot from Wormall only as far as Shaw whose tame header failed to find the net.
United regained the lead a minute into stoppage time at the end of the half when Lee broke down the left before finding man-of-the-match Wormall on the edge of the penalty area. The Arrows hit man controlled the ball before rifling an unstoppable shot past a helpless McNulty.
In the second half, the Arrows had to dig deep as the home side dominated for long periods, enjoying the majority of possession without over-taxing Drury.
Harrowby were fortunate in the 61st minute when a header from Akintunde hit the underside of the crossbar, bouncing down on to the goal line before being hacked away to safety.
In a rare Harrowby attack on 70 minutes, Shaw did well to cut inside before producing a shot which was well saved by McNulty.
Despite being constantly on the back foot, the Arrows survived the home side’s onslaught to keep the second half scoreless and book their place in the next round after a fine defensive effort from the whole side.
Harrowby United: Drury, Weatherstone (Peberdy, 33; Reidy, 76), Preston, Hill (Lee, 13), Whyley, Harper, Kirton, Bolland (c), Webb, Shaw, Wormall. Subs not used: Jaques, Gibson.