It’s déjà vu all over again for Harrowby United

Luke Peberdy
Luke Peberdy
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United Counties League

Premier Division

Wellingborough Town 2

Harrowby United 1

They say that lightning does not strike the same place twice – well, try telling that to Harrowby United.

Just as two weeks ago at Desborough, an away fixture produced a red card and a dying seconds goal on their trip to Wellingborough Town on Saturday.

The home side put the Arrows under pressure from the off and were very unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty after only three minutes. As Scott Liebscher got a shot away, which was comfortably saved by Jack Drury between the Harrowby sticks, Sam Hill arrived late to clatter the midfielder. Despite huge appeals, referee Mr Lake gave the first of a few baffling decisions to deny the Doughboys a spot kick.

Harrowby’s best chance in the opening exchanges came in the 18th minute when good work down the left between Lee Shaw and Martin Wormall ended in a ball across the goal line which Scott Webb failed to convert.

Three minutes later, the Doughboys took the lead when a squared ball from the left into the penalty area was met by Liebscher. His run from midfield was untracked by Harrowby and his well-placed right foot shot gave Drury no chance.

The Arrows thought they were level after 28 minutes when a cross from the right was met by a Lewis Watson header a couple of yards out and brought a fine reaction save from Doughboys keeper Shaun Allen. Allen saved again a minute later from a Shaw effort from the edge of the area as Harrowby looked to get back into the game.

As a scuffle started on the half way line on 34 minutes, Wellingborough broke down the left and Drury saved well with his legs from another Taylor effort. All three officials missed the altercation and. after a brief chat between themselves. restarted the game with a corner, taking no action against the perpetrators.

Two minutes before the break, Shaw created an opportunity for Webb whose shot was again well saved by Allen at the foot of his left hand post.

Wellingborough started the second half with great intent, causing Harrowby to defend deep from the restart. Drury made another good save after 54 minutes, again from Taylor as the home side looked to double their lead.

Harrowby were restricted to counter-attacks and from one such break in the 63rd minute, substitute Tom Parker played a fine ball in behind the Wellingborough defence for Wormall whose shot narrowly cleared the cross bar.

Things got tougher for Harrowby after 76 minutes when a ball down the Wellingborogh right was chased into the penalty area by Michael Cirelli. Arrows right back John Currall slid in to challenge, bringing down Cirelli, which resulted in a penalty kick and a red card for the perpetrator. Jake Newman stepped up to take the spot kick and, looking to blast the ball home, skied the ball, clearing the cross bar, the stand and probably the car park behind.

Harrowby’s 10 men took heart from the miss and five minutes later levelled through Scott Webb. Substitute and debutant Tom Potts played a through-ball for Luke Peberdy whose touch found Shaw. Shaw’s shot was blocked but Webb was first to react, stabbing the ball home from close range.

Wellingborough mounted a siege on the Harrowby goal for the remaining 10 minutes but were held at bay by some stout defending, most notably by the central defensive pairing of Sam Hill and Jack Whyley, and some fine handling from Drury.

Two minutes from time, Watson headed off the line as it looked like the 10 men would salvage a point.

Heartbreakingly, it was not to be as the enthusiastic Potts conceded a free kick with a rash challenge on the Wellingborough right, just outside the box. The ball was whipped into the penalty area and Doughboys skipper Dan Spaughton’s header hit the underside of the bar and went in for the winning goal.

The referee blew for time immediately on the restart to condemn the Arrows to another injury time defeat.

Harrowby’s man of the match was Luke Peberdy.

Harrowby United: Drury, Currall, Clarke (Parker, 62), Hill, Whyley, Watson, Peberdy, Harper (Potts, 66), Webb, Wormall, Shaw. Sub not used: Stubbs.