FOOTBALL: Harrowby United finish second best in relegation tussle
United Counties League
Harrowby United 1
Oadby Town 4
Harrowby United entertained Oadby Town on a wet and windy Tuesday evening at Dickens Road, the Leicestershire outfit coming out on top in a relegation – second versus third from bottom – clash.
Harrowby started brightly and George McCartney got away from his marker to create a chance after four minutes but was denied by a covering Poachers defender.
The visitors went in front after nine minutes when good work from Adam Bolley saw him advance to the byline before crossing the ball which eluded Harrowby keeper Chris Bennett before hitting the unfortunate Lorcan Hickey and going in the net for an own goal. Harrowby got back into the game in the 21st minute when a free kick from Ben Sharpe was cleared by the Oadby defence only as far as Ben Browne whose cross-cum-shot was turned behind for a corner by keeper Tom Hubbard. The resulting corner by McCartney was met by Jack Whyley, returning to the side after injury, who headed in at the back post to level the scores.
The Arrows enjoyed good possession and were on the ascendancy for good periods of the first half but lacked the cutting edge in the final third of the pitch. Oadby were denied a half time lead by a save from Bennett, pushing the ball away at the expense of a corner as the game entered injury time.
Harrowby always looked dangerous from corners and set-pieces with the aerial threat of Jack Stafford and Whyley, and a corner early in the second half caused a mad scramble in the Oadby box which they did well to clear.
After 48 minutes, a shot from Carlton Beardsmore was saved at the second attempt by Bennett after an initial fumble. Two minutes later he was not so fortunate when a ball into the Arrows penalty area was cleared from inside the six yard box but headed back goalwards from the edge of the D by Harry Allcock. Bennett got hands to the ball but was only able to push it into his own goal to concede Harrowby’s second of the night.
On the hour mark, another McCartney corner made its way to Simon Bolland whose shot was deflected behind.
The Arrows were unlucky not to level the scores when the next corner came over and during the ensuing goalmouth scramble Whyley’s left foot shot hit the post.
Harrowby kept on the pressure and five minutes later an Eatough cross was put behind for a corner. Whyley again got to the ball when it came back in but saw his shot deflected behind for yet another corner. From this restart, Harrowby forced another shot, this time from Browne which cleared the crossbar.
Harrowby were punished for their missed chances and two goals in a minute from Oadby made the game safe in their favour. In the 81st minute, Jacob Gill cut inside from a wide position and hit a shot which beat Bennett at his near pos.
Seconds later, Allcock made it four when he lobbed the Harrowby keeper to secure the points for his team and extend the gap at the bottom to what, for Harrowby, seems an insurmountable 13 points with only seven games remaining.
Harrowby United: Bennett, Eatough (Jaques 73), Sharpe (Floyd 71), Stafford, Whyley, Browne, Hickey, Bolland, McCartney, Currall (c), Clarke (Farmer 83). Subs not used: Chavundura, Denty.