Harrowby United promotion hopes take another knock

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United Counties League

Division One

Olney Town 2

Harrowby United 0

Harrowby United’s promotion hopes took another knock as they went down to a two-goal defeat at Olney Town.

The Arrows started well and inside the first five minutes Jack Whyley headed just wide from a corner, and a Scott Webb volley from just inside the penalty area was saved low by goalkeeper Tom Kennard.

After eight minutes, against the run of play, the Buckinghamshire side took the lead. A poor corner in from Harrowby was cleared up field to Olney’s Toby Osobu who spotted Arrows keeper Jack Drury well off his line. The striker cleverly lobbed the ball over a stranded Drury and into an empty net for an excellent opportunist goal.

Harrowby tried to get back into the game but their play lacked rhythm and the home defence dealt comfortably with any attacks. Webb was unlucky on the half hour mark with a rushed shot that cleared the cross bar.

Two minutes from the break, Lee Shaw was fouled as he advanced towards the Olney area and from the resulting free kick, Webb’s effort just failed to curl enough and went wide of the goal. The last action of the half saw a Martin Wormall drive from outside the box also clear the cross bar.

It was more of the same in the second half, Harrowby labouring to create anything, and the Olney rear guard proving obstinate.

Just past the hour mark, a good ball in behind the home defence was met by Liam Jaques but his shot failed to trouble the keeper. Olney went close to doubling their lead after 72 minutes when a rasping shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced away to safety. Olney’s midfield continued to stifle Harrowby throughout the second half and was especially well marshalled by Sam Marven.

With five minutes remaining, Harrowby were awarded a free kick on the left edge of the penalty area and Sam Kirton’s shot went narrowly over. Two minutes later, Drury saved well at the foot of his right hand post, palming the ball round the post from Darryl Smith’s shot.

Two minutes into added time, Drury received the ball just outside the penalty area and, looking to clear the ball upfield, delayed his kick just long enough for an alert James Wardell to charge down the kick and hook the loose ball into the empty net.

In the seventh minute of added time, Olney’s Smith was sent from the field by referee Mr Porter for swearing at a linesman.

Harrowby United: Drury, Weatherstone, Preston (Harper, 61), Spence, Whyley, Kirton, Jaques (Hill, 71), Bolland, Webb (Currall, 76), Shaw, Wormall. Sub not used: Wilcocks.