United Counties League
Harrowby United 2
Harborough Town 0
Harrowby United picked up a much needed three points at the Environcom Stadium against their Leicestershire visitors, as the clubs met for the first time.
The Arrows put Harborough under intense pressure from the start and after only one minute a through-ball from Sam Weatherstone caused confusion in the Bees’ defence. Goalkeeper Josh Knowles drove the ball straight at his own centre back on the edge of the penalty area. The ball rebounded into the six-yard box and full back Callum Milne did well to clear the ball just as Lee Shaw looked to take advantage of the error.
After five minutes, Martin Wormall was played in with a nice ball into the box and as he went to go round the keeper, Knowles produced a fine save to scoop the ball away from the striker’s feet.
Fifteen minutes later, a well-worked short corner allowed Scott Webb to cross to the far post where Shaw’s flicked first time effort went just wide.
Harborough created a chance with a counter attack three minutes later. Wide man Dam Bale’s lobbed effort cleared Arrows custodian Jack Drury, but the crossbar also.
Harrowby took the lead just after the half hour mark when a good build-up saw Webb play a through-ball for Shaw whose shot was saved by Knowles’s outstretched foot. The ball looped up and as it span towards goal, Lewis Watson won the race to the ball in front of a couple of defenders and stabbed it home from half a yard out.
A free kick just outside the box, five minutes before the break, saw Webb’s shot blocked by Harborough’s defensive wall. The ball was played back into the danger area and Wormall was unlucky to see his header come back off the bar. The rebound went out to Liam Harper whose follow up was deflected behind for a corner.
On the stroke of half time, Wormall was again denied by the woodwork as his header from Shaw’s cross struck the crossbar and went behind for a goal kick.
Harrowby doubled their lead four minutes into the second half when they won the ball in midfield and quickly played the ball through to Shaw, who calmly rounded the advancing Knowles and rolled into the empty net.
After 53 minutes, Knowles saved a shot from Wormall and, two minutes later, Shaw was inches away from making it three as Wormall’s deflected shot just eluded him as he slid in at the far post.
For all their possession and chances, Harrowby failed to increase their lead and Harborough, to their credit, kept trying to get back into the game on the counter. Striker Jack Nolan was denied by Drury’s legs with 10 minutes left on one such occasion.
Five minutes from time, Drury produced an even better save when, diving full stretch to his left, he steered away a fiercely driven shot from the edge of the box.
A minute from time, the woodwork again came to Harborough’s aid when Shaw sprang Harborough’s offside trap and brought a good save from Knowles, the loose ball falling to Harrowby substitute Luke Peberdy on the edge of the area. Peberdy shot at the empty goal and was dismayed to see the ball hit the foot of the left hand post and divert to safety.
The game’s final chance came two minutes into added time and again Drury excelled with another superb left handed diving save to preserve Harrowby’s clean sheet and secure the three points.
Harrowby United’s man of the match was Simon Bolland.
Harrowby United: Drury, Weatherstone, Clarke, Hill, Whyley, Webb, Harper, Bolland, Watson (Currall, 71), Wormall (Peberdy, 69), Shaw. Subs not used: Daykin, Hotchin.