United Counties League
Harrowby United 5
Buckingham Town 1
Harrowby United avenged a bad defeat at Buckingham Town early this season with a five star performance that, such was their dominance, could have seen them win by an even wider margin.
On a chilly afternoon at Dickens Road, the Arrows started at a fast pace and immediately had the Robins on the back foot.
The all important early breakthrough arrived after six minutes when a free kick from Jack Whyley was played up to the feet of Arrows top scorer Sam Grouse. The lively young striker turned just inside the penalty area and was clipped by a defender, resulting in referee Mr Thorold awarding a spot kick, much to the consternation of the visitors.
Grouse picked himself up and despatched the penalty with some aplomb, giving keeper Ryan Thrussell no chance.
Buckingham brought a save out of Arrows custodian Sam Andrew who had to be alert to tip a free kick over the crossbar after eight minutes. Five minutes later Harrowby doubled their advantage.
A Buckingham corner was cleared and picked up by Arrows’ Felix Hogg. Midfielder Hogg swept the ball out to Ben Browne who with plenty still to do, advanced on goal, cut inside and slotted home a right foot shot inside the far post, past a despairing dive from Thrussell.
Harrowby continued to press and Thrussell did well to parry away a strike from Grouse after 25 minutes.
A minute later, Harrowby added a third goal as a ball played through to Grouse saw him round the keeper, only to be felled by Thrussell as he was about to slot the ball into an empty net. The visiting keeper was fortunate to see only a yellow card before once again Grouse coolly stroked home his second spot kick of the afternoon.
As the half drew to an end, Andrew saved from Kelvin Osei-Addo and Thrussell tipped a fine free kick from Browne over the bar at the expense of a corner.
Harrowby began the second half brightly and an early Browne effort from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area just cleared the crossbar. The game was put beyond doubt with a fourth goal in the 56th minute.
A through-ball saw Grouse time his run to perfection to get in behind the Buckingham defence. He retained his composure as he bore down on goal and slotted confidently past Thrussell to complete his hat trick.
Still hungry for goals, Harrowby added a fifth just before the hour mark.
A good run down the left from Richemone Sylla saw the Arrows full back make good ground before being closed down, but show good vision to slip the ball through to Jawanza Grant. The Harrowby striker took the ball on and fired home past Thrussell to complete a nap hand.
Joe Briers headed just over the bar from a Ben Browne free kick into the box before the Arrows management team shuffled their pack, introducing Kyle Sambor, Liam Smith and John Currall in a 10 minute spell.
Buckingham, to their credit, kept trying and grabbed a consolation goal from the penalty spot four minutes from time. Tawanda Bilson mistimed a tackle, bringing down Chris Wreh, and Osei-Addo slotted home the penalty kick.
The game’s final chance saw Thrussell make a fine save with his legs after a good run from Smith created a shooting chance for Browne, the ball deflecting up and over the bar.
A fine win for the Arrows against fourth placed Buckingham which will hopefully be the start of a run that, if they pick up points from games in hand, will push them into the top five or beyond.
Harrowby United: Andrew, Spencer (c), Sylla, Bilson, Whyley, Briers, Hogg (Smith 76), Browne, Ofushine, Grant (Sambor 73), Grouse (Currall 83). Subs not used: Havron, Grouse.