FOOTBALL: Harrowby United finally secure a victory
United Counties League
Harrowby United 2
Huntingdon Town 1
In what has been a while coming, Harrowby United secured a win against Huntingdon Town on a warm, sunny afternoon at the Environcom Stadium.
The Arrows certainly did it the hard way, coming from a goal down and playing the second half with a man disadvantage due to a red card for midfielder Simon Bolland.
The league’s bottom two served up a game not always high on quality but always competitive and entertaining.
After 10 minutes, Arrows centre back Jack Whyley got his head on to a free kick into Town’s penalty area. The effort was blocked, as was his rebound shot before the ball was cleared.
Two minutes later, another deep free kick into the Huntingdon box was met on the volley by Scott Floyd whose shot was well saved by an outstretched leg from custodian Andy Hewitt.
Having started the game well, the Arrows were caught with a sucker punch in the 26th minute. A fine cross-field ball was well controlled by midfielder Ben Page, who then rode a tackle from the back-tracing Liam Jaques, before slotting the ball past a helpless Sam Scothern in the Harrowby goal.
After 37 minutes, the visitors almost doubled their lead when a fine dipping shot from distance by Giuliano Staffieri was superbly tipped on to the crossbar by Scothern, the ball bouncing away to safety.
With just over a minute of the first half remaining, a flashpoint saw the Arrows reduced to 10 men. Harrowby were awarded a free kick for a foul by Staffieri who reacted to what he thought was a stamp by Bolland. In the ensuing melee, referee Mr Jolley brought the sorry episode to an end with a straight red card for Bolland, having seen him strike an opposition player. When the free kick was finally taken, Hewitt did well to save Floyd’s cross-cum-shot shot at the second attempt.
Facing an uphill task in the second period, Harrowby initially found themselves on the back foot and looking to catch the Croms on the break.
Just before the hour mark, Arrows skipper John Currall did well to get his body in the way of a stinging shot from Michael Chow. After 64 minutes, a good run from Harrowby’s Sam Weatherstone ended with a shot that was straight at Hewitt.
A couple of minutes later, a Harrowby corner found its way to substitute Tino Chavundura but his shot was well blocked.
The 10 men had upped their game and, having more attacking success, found an equaliser in the 77th minute. Chavundura was brought down by Callum Walter as he drove towards the Huntingdon penalty area. Floyd stepped up to curl the ball around the Croms defensive wall and into the net, with Hewitt rooted to the spot.
A shocked Huntingdon were punished again in the 81st minute when they switched off as a Floyd free kick into their penalty area was picked up by an unmarked Chavundura. The young striker controlled before he calmly stroked the ball into the net to give his side the lead.
A frantic last 10 minutes saw the resolute Harrowby defence keep Huntingdon at bay although, with the game in stoppage time, a ferocious shot from Walter had Scothern beaten all ends up, but the ball thundered against the bar before being hacked away to safety.
The Arrows saw out the remaining time to secure a hard fought victory. In a game mainly being played for pride with both teams adrift at the bottom of the league, Harrowby can be pleased to get a long awaited win under their belt with just four games of their season remaining.
Harrowby United: Scothern, Hickey, McCartney, Currall (c), Whyley, Floyd, Jaques, Bolland, Farmer (Chavundura 65), Weatherstone, Browne (Eatough 83).