Harrowby United's county derby ends in goalless draw
United Counties League Division One
Bourne Town 0
Harrowby United 0
Harrowby United made the trip to Bourne Town on Tuesday night for a local Lincolnshire derby.
Buoyant after Saturday's 2-0 win against Birstall (see below), Harrowby started the game well on top, playing some decent football on a bobbly pitch.
Harrowby were awarded a penalty after Nathan Smith was brought down by Swales in the Bourne goal. Jack McGovern stepped up to the spot but Swales made amends with a smart save.
Harrowby continued to dominate, with McGovern being the focal point up front.
Another couple of chances went begging from Smith and Will Gore-King.
Harrowby's defence were rarely troubled in the first half with keeper Richard Stainsby hardly touching the ball.
In the second half, Bourne made a real fight of it and disrupted Harrowby's flow from the first half.
Not many chances were created but McGovern did hit the post.
Bourne rarely troubled Harrowby's back line with skipper Alex Hayles and Luke Anderson outstanding, with Stainsby not having a save to make all night.
Kemal Yeniberitz was sent off late on for a late tackle and the game ended goalless, but it still extended the Arrows' unbeaten new year run to four games.
Harrowby United 2
Birstall United 0
Harrowby United welcomed Birstall United to Dickens Road on Saturday knowing both sides had started the season well but dipped in recent weeks.
Arrows player-manager Jamie McGhee decided that due to current form a few big decisions needed to be made in tactics and in personnel, to try and find a way to be resilient and still have the quality to get a result. With a strong match day squad, McGhee was sure they could come away with three points.
Experience would be key. Jack Gurney, Charlie Hart and Daniel Aboyomi made way for Elliot King to make his home debut, along with Jon Smith, returning top goalscorer Jack McGovern and McGhee himself.
Birstall started brightly, keeping Harrowby pinned back for most of the first half.
Due to Harrowby's shape being quite narrow, they got exposed down the flanks so a small tweak helped nullify the threats and the Arrows began to get a foothold in the game.
Harrowby started to create a few chances but did not really test the keeper. Birstall won a corner, Harrowby cleared the danger, and on the second phase won the ball back and moved it quickly.
Luke Andersen put a ball from in to King who held it up, turned and clipped a cracking through-ball over the last defender for Jon Smith to carry the ball and slot home for his first Arrows goal.
After the goal, Harrowby managed to control the remainder of the half and kept Birstall at bay.
The second half started well, with Harrowby keeping the ball better, putting it into good areas while still keeping Birstall at arm's length.
Around the 70-minute mark, top scorer McGovern got clean through and fired the ball past the on-rushing keeper to double Harrowby's lead.
The second goal completely deflated Birstall and the Arrows took further control of the game.
Again man-of-the-match McGovern got clean through, rounded the keeper and squared the ball to Gurney, but somehow from a yard out he could not get the right connection to tap home and the ball was cleared.
McGhee said: "We saw the game out really well. A nice win, positive performance and a clean sheet. A real experienced gritty performance and a well-deserved three points."
Harrowby make the trip to promotion-chasers Hucknall Town on Saturday.