United Counties League
Harrowby United 1
Newport Pagnell Town 4
Harrowby United were put to the sword by an impressive first half performance by Newport Pagnell Town on a pleasant sunny afternoon at the Environcom Stadium.
The Arrows struggled to get into the game as Pagnell were straight into their stride and enjoyed the majority of possession right from the off. Such was their dominance that the Arrows did well to hold out until the 26th minute when a dangerous ball into their penalty area looking for striker Josh Crawley was dealt with at the expense of a cross by an important touch by Sam Hill.
The whipped in corner kick from Darryl Smith towards the near post was met by a glancing header from Crawley which found the back of the net to give the visitors the lead.
The scores were level two minutes later when a clever, quickly taken free kick from Arrows man-of-the-match Scott Webb set top scorer Danny Durkin away, and the young marksman slotted the ball past advancing keeper Josh McAdoo and into the net.
Parity only lasted barley a minute as the Swans went back in front when a corner into the box was not cleared. Crawley’s shot was blocked before Sam O’Neil smashed home the loose ball.
Both Smith and Crawley squandered chances for the visitors before Harrowby had a great chance to level the scores again. Webb delivered a well flighted free kick into box from out right. Arrows centre back Hill timed his run perfectly but directed a free header wide of the left hand upright with the goal at his mercy.
Harrowby contributed to their own downfall in the 42nd minute when they conceded possession all too easily from a free kick in the Pagnell half. The ball was played up quickly to Crawley who looked suspiciously in an offside position. No flag was forthcoming and the Swans striker produced an assured finish past Jack Drury in the Harrowby goal for a 3-1 lead.
O’Neil added a fourth goal a minute before the break. Good work between Keith Williams and Greg Ling opened up the Harrowby defence to provided the chance of a simple side foot finish.
The Arrows did improve on a miserable first half performance after the break, managing to carve a few chances of their own. Just after the hour mark Craig Bridge got in behind a solid Pagnell back four, only to see his shot well saved by McAdoo.
Shortly after, Durkin found himself in a similar position but his attempted lob cleared the advancing McAdoo and agonisingly, also the cross bar. Webb then saw a shot drift wide of a post as time was running out for the home side. The final chance of the game fell to Swans debutant Bruno Lobo Brito whose shot went wide of the right hand post.
Harrowby United: Drury, Weatherstone, Watson, Hill (Andersen, 45), Whyley (c), Bridge, Currall (Taylor, 62), Bolland, Webb, Brewer, Durkin. Subs not used: Stubbs, Rhodes.