FOOTBALL: Harrowby United secure valuable point on the road
United Counties League
Wellingborough Town 2
Harrowby United 2
Harrowby United secured another valuable away point at the Dog and Duck, home of Wellingborough Town football club on a pleasant but chilly afternoon in Northamptonshire.
The Arrows threatened first when a good run down the left from Bobby Lee saw him brought down for a free kick on the left edge of the Doughboys’ penalty area. Matt Clarke took the resulting kick but fired his shot straight into the defensive wall.
The hosts took the lead in the 18th minute when a good run down the left from Daniel Mortimer saw the full back get to the byline before driving the ball across the six yard box. Arrows centre back Jack Whyley slid in to block the ball but it fell nicely for Town striker Devon Ellwood who knocked the ball into the net from four yards out.
Harrowby responded immediately, as within a minute they created an opening for Luke Peberdy who was brought down in the box by Wellingborough’s Aaron Bellairs. Clarke stepped up to take the spot kick, sent the keeper the wrong way and levelled the scores.
The home side upped their game and put Harrowby under pressure although the back four of Stafford, Currall, Whyley and debutant Nick Eatough battled gamely to keep them at bay, supported by in-form goalkeeper Joe Christopher.
On 34 minutes, a quick counter-attack from the Arrows enabled Peberdy to get a shot at goal from the right of the penalty area, and he was unlucky to see the effort just flash past the far post.
A minute later, the home side’s pressure brought them reward when a fine diagonal crossfield ball from Dan Bendy eluded a stretching Stafford to find Jack Wisniewski out on the right. The wide man’s low cross was perfect for Ellwood to prod home from only a couple of yards out.
The second half began in a more even fashion with nothing in it until just after the hour mark when Peberdy struck. Whyley headed the ball out of defence to Liam Jaques who slotted a lovely weighted through-ball for Peberdy to run on to. With plenty still to be done, the striker carried the ball into the penalty area, holding off Doughboys skipper Joe Rich, before firing a strong left foot shot past a helpless Bellairs and into the net.
The home side again responded positively and laid seige to the Harrowby goal, only to find Christopher at the top of his game, the young custodian making a sting of fine saves.
Harrowby’s closest attempt at a winner came from a free kick that was blocked before a second shot through a crowd of players was stopped by Bellairs.
As the game moved into its latter stages it was backs to the wall for Harrowby. Jack Stafford came up with a superb goal saving tackle with five minutes remaining, sliding in to deny Barry Deakin as he was pulling the trigger to shoot. A string of corners were scrambled away as the final whistle approached and Christopher did well to tip away a strong shot from the edge of the box which took a wicked deflection off Harrowby’s Simon Bolland.
The Arrows will be the happier of the two teams to have gained a point, with another performance which showed great desire and character to twice come from behind.
Harrowby United: Christopher, Eatough, Stafford, Currall (c), Whyley, Lee, Jaques, Bolland, Clarke, Liam Harper (Lloyd Hanratty 54) Luke Peberdy.