FOOTBALL: Single goal wins it for Harrowby United
United Counties League
Bourne Town 0
Harrowby United 1
Harrowby United travelled to Bourne Town on a Tuesday evening for the third time this season, with the two previous cup games being even at one win apiece.
With league points at stake, the two teams served up another competitive and entertaining local derby that could have gone either way.
The opening exchanges saw both teams cancelling each other out, Bourne enjoying a little more possession but Harrowby always dangerous on the break. Having weathered Bourne’s early ascendancy, Harrowby grew into the game and looked the more threatening side.
After 23 minutes, they forced a corner on the right and Joel Carta was unfortunate to see his header cannon away off the crossbar. Three minutes later, Arrows debutant Aaron Large fired in a low shot from the edge of the penalty area which was comfortably saved by ‘Wakes’ custodian Alex Brown.
The game’s decisive goal came after 31 minutes. A long free kick upfield from Arrows keeper Sam Andrew was flicked on by Jack Whyley, finding Joe Briers in the penalty area. A rash challenge on the Harrowby midfielder brought the award of a penalty kick by referee Mr Armond.
Sam Grouse stepped up and smashed home the spot kick to give the Arrows the lead, although the excitable young striker picked up an unnecessary yellow card for an altercation with Brown during his celebration.
The home side responded, putting Harrowby pressure, and on 36 minutes a header from Dan Flood brought a tremendous save from Andrew, who reacted well to dive low to his right hand post and turn the ball away as it looked to be sneaking inside the post.
Bourne started the second half with a real purpose, forcing the Arrows defence to soak up wave after wave of pressure. Their efforts were rewarded with a somewhat soft looking penalty after 51 minutes. The spot kick was awarded against Ash Miles who appeared to get the ball in front of a stretching Eddie McDonald, but Mr Almond saw differently and pointed to the spot. Jezz Goldson-Williams took the kick but skied his effort well over the cross bar to the relief of the visiting side.
Bourne continued to press forward but a resolute Arrows rearguard held them at bay. Carta fired a shot narrowly wide on 58 minutes as Harrowby looked to catch the hosts on the counter-attack.
Just past the hour mark, Goldson-Williams was presented with good opportunity as he got on the end of a deep cross, but could only direct his header into the arms of Andrew.
As time ticked away, the Arrows defence held firm although they received a real scare a minute from time when Jack Corby found himself with space out on the right and delivered a fine cross for McDonald, but his header rebounded away off Andrews’ right hand upright.
Harrowby saw out the remaining time left to secure a valuable three points against an in-form Bourne side, who had won their previous four games, and keep a clean sheet for the first time in six league games.
Harrowby United: Andrew, Bilson, Miles (c), Currall, Whyley, Phillip, Hogg, Briers, Carta (Sylla 81), Grouse (Peberdy 62), Large. Sub not used: Wroughton.