United Counties League
Raunds Town 4
Harrowby United 1
After last week’s emphatic victory, Harrowby United were brought back down to earth with a bump in a four goals to one reverse at Kiln Park, home of Raunds Town.
A sluggish start from the Arrows saw them go a goal down in the second minute. A free kick from the left found Shopmates debutant Ty Clarke out on the right edge of the Harrowby penalty area. The pacey Clarke cut inside his marker and curled a fine left foot shot around a helpless Sam Andrew in the Harrowby goal and into the top left hand corner of the net.
Only two minutes later, Joe Briers had the chance to level things up but having been played in behind the Raunds back four, the Arrows man’s shot was well saved by the legs of keeper Chris Jones.
It proved a costly miss as on eight minutes a hopeful long ball over the top of the Harrowby defence was picked up by Clarke who raced away before slotting confidently past Andrew to double the home side’s lead.
With 14 minutes on the clock, another guilt edged chance was spurned by the Arrows when a good run down the right from Richemone Sylla ended with a low cross to Joel Carta inside the six yard box, but the ball ran under the midfielder’s foot and the chance was gone.
The swirling wind made for a scrappy game at times and the next chance did not come until the 39th minute when Harrowby’s Jack Duffy advanced into the Raunds penalty and saw his low shot blocked by Jones’ legs. The rebound fell to Sylla whose crisp right footed goalbound effort cannoned off a defender and the danger was cleared.
The second half began with Harrowby on the offensive and looking to get back into the game. Three minutes after the restart, Sylla was cynically brought down on the edge of the penalty area by Raunds full back Tobi Looker, resulting in a yellow card for the defender and a free kick for the Arrows. Carta stepped up and curled a low shot around the defensive wall but just inches past the post and into the side netting with Jones beaten.
Two minutes later, another chance came Carta’s way but this time his free header, from a Briers corner from the right, went just wide of the post.
The hosts’ finishing was far more clinical than Harrowby’s and after 55 minutes a low corner from the right somehow eluded everyone at the near post and was tapped home from inside the six yard box by Gav Wills.
Harrowby pulled a goal back on the hour mark when Duffy was fed the ball out right. He advanced down the line before whipping over a fine right foot cross which was met by the head of Sam Grouse 10 yards out and despatched into the net.
Raunds always looked dangerous in attack and after 75 minutes Arrows custodian Andrew produced a quality save, diving to his left to get a strong hand to Jamie Russell’s fierce strike from the edge of the box.
Harrowby’s hopes of salvaging anything from the game were ended when they were reduced to 10 men. Carta received a straight red card from Mr Smith for descent, questioning the referee’s decision to award a throw-in to the opposition that he thought should have gone United’s way.
Raunds secured a well deserved victory with two minutes remaining when sloppy defending allowed a cross from the left which was neatly turned into the net at the front post to complete Clarke’s hat trick.
Harrowby United: Andrew, Currall, Labbate, Havron, Whyley, Briers, Miles (Peberdy 70), Carta, Crouse, Duffy (Parker-Lax 70), Sylla (Hogg 58).