Harrowby United grind out victory at Irchester

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United Counties League

Division One

Irchester United 0

Harrowby United 1

After the Boxing Day demolition of Bourne Town, the Arrows found Irchester United a much tougher nut to crack, having to dig deep and grind out a scruffy single-goal win on a very heavy pitch.

The first half was an even affair with chances very much at a premium. The first clear cut chance was after 29 minutes when good work from Martin Wormall gave Liam Harper the opportunity to pick out Luke Peberdy in the Romans penalty area. But he was unable to keep his header down and the ball went over the cross bar.

Three minutes later, a cross from the right by Lee Shaw found Harper. With the goal at his mercy, Harper miskicked and the ball skewed wide.

Four minutes before the break, a free kick into the Irchester area was headed out only as far as Simon Bolland on the edge of the area. Keeper Mike Freeman tipped his shot over the cross bar. From the resulting corner, a scramble around the penalty spot ended with Arrows man-of-the-match Kahmeel Spence getting a shot away which hit the crossbar and went behind for a goal kick.

The last action of the half was a ball out of defence by John Currall which set Wormall away on a solo run. After turning a couple defenders, it ended with him poking the ball just wide.

The second period began in the same vein as the first half with neither side giving much away defensively and restricting chances. Wormall headed just wide after 53 minutes and 10 minutes later shot just wide across the far post.

The deadlock was finally broken after 73 minutes when, after a run from Shaw, his shot hit the arm of full back John Bowden and referee Mr Maclarty had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Wormall stepped up and confidently drove the ball past a helpless Freeman to give the Arrows the lead.

Irchester pressed for an equaliser but a solid rearguard performance by the Harrowby defence, ably assisted by a hardworking midfield, held them at bay.

Harrowby almost added a second goal on 83 minutes when some good interplay around the Irchester penalty area created a shooting chance for Bolland, but he was denied by a good save from Freeman, the big Romans keeper blocking with his legs.

Irchester mounted a last push and, a minute from time, almost snatched a leveller after a desperate scramble in the Arrows area, but the final Irchester shot cleared the crossbar.

It was a well earned three points in difficult conditions and kept the Arrows in third position, now only two points with a game in hand behind Eynesbury who lost on Boxing Day.

Harrowby United: Drury, Weatherstone, Currall, Hill, Spence, Peberdy {Lee 75}, Jaques, Bolland (c), Harper, Wormall, Shaw. Subs not used: Vorley, Hotchin.