FOOTBALL: Defeat drops Harrowby United into relegation zone
United Counties League
Harrowby United 1
Harborough Town 4
Harrowby United welcomed Leicestershire outfit Harborough Town on a cold afternoon at Dickens Road, looking to pick up points from their vantage point at the wrong end of the league table.
But the Market Harborough team left with the points and a fruitless day saw the Arrows drop into the relegation zone.
The first half was an even affair with both teams working hard but neither looking likely to score. Harrowby’s goal quest wasn’t helped when striker Luke Peberdy was forced to leave the fray after only 10 minutes, landing awkwardly and sustaining an ankle injury.
With chances at a real premium, Harrowby’s best effort of the half was a Matt Clarke shot on the half hour mark which brought a comfortable save from ‘Bees’ keeper Glen Giles.
With half time approaching, Arrows debutant Lorcan Hickey produced a fine tackle to deny Barnes Gladman who was set to shoot with the goal at his mercy, after he picked up a loose ball in the Harrowby penalty area. Hickey slid in to take the ball off the striker’s foot as he was about to pull the trigger and avert the danger.
As a drab first half looked to be ending honours even, a weak Harrowby goal kick was picked up in midfield by Harborough who quickly moved the ball out right to Gladman. The striker cut inside and drove in a cross-cum-shot which was parried by Arrows keeper Joe Christopher, only to fall kindly for Billy Shepherd who fired home to send the Bees in a goal to the good at the break.
Harrowby upped their tempo at the start of the second half, gaining the upper hand, which led to a 52nd minute equaliser. Harrowby midfielder Ben Browne, returning from injury, slipped a delightful pass through to Tino Chavundura. The youngster, making his home debut, produced a fine finish, firing a rasping right foot shot past a helpless Giles and into the net.
Enjoying their best spell of the game, Harrowby carved out another opportunity when another debutant, Lewis Godfrey, was set up with a shooting chance by good work from Chavundura, but saw his shot deflect behind for a corner off a defender. Browne fired a shot just past the post after 73 minutes before the Arrows were hit by sucker punch, conceding two goals in a minute.
In the 76th minute, a long ball out to the left and in behind the Harrowby defence was picked up by Deano Tuksar, who cut inside and calmly slotted past Christopher into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Straight from the restart, Harrowby lost possession cheaply in midfield and a fine ball through to Gladman saw the striker take a touch before rifling home a left foot shot, in off the under side of the bar.
The two goal salvo stunned the Arrows who struggled to get back into the game and the visitors finished the game in the ascendancy, creating more chances. They where rewarded with a fourth goal in the 89th minute. A cross from the right was converted by Harborough’s top scorer, Gladman, for his 18th goal of the season.
The Arrows find themselves involved in a relegation dogfight with 15 games remaining, having gone second bottom on goal difference after Boston Town picked up a valuable point at Desborough Town.
Harrowby United: Christopher, Hickey, Stafford, Currall (c), Whyley, Lee (Matongo 81), Godfrey (Farmer 88), Browne, Chavundura, Peberdy (Parker 10), Clarke. Sub not used: Eatough.