United Counties League
Harrowby United 2
AFC Kempston Rovers 1
Harrowby United made it three wins on the trot with a hard fought victory by the odd goal in three against eighth-placed AFC Kempston Rovers at the Environcom Stadium.
The game was 40 minutes late getting underway as the visitors were held up in traffic making their way up from Bedfordshire.
The Arrows started the game brightly and took the lead in the 13th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick.
Lewis Watson made progress down the left flank before playing the ball inside to Lee Shaw who carried it into the area only to be brought down when preparing to shoot.Referee Mr Saunby only gave a yellow card to a relieved Jamie Hirst before Scott Webb stepped up to smash the spot kick past Martin Conway in the Kempston goal.
The goal spurred the visitors into life and Harrowby’s man-of-the-match goal keeper Jack Drury made the first of a string of saves in the 18th minute.
The Arrows survived a scare in the 26th minute when Dom Marsala headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Harrowby doubled their advantage in the 35th minute when, following a good move down the right, Webb played the ball inside to Shaw who slotted his right footed shot into the bottom corner, giving Conway no chance.
Harrowby saw out the rest of the first half with some resolute defending to go in two goals to the good at the break.
Kempston made their intentions plain from the restart and began an onslaught on the Harrowby goal from the off. United’s backline of Sam Weatherstone, Lewis Wattson, Jack Whyley and Sam Hill held firm ably assisted by a hard working midfield unit.
Just after the hour mark, Arrows brought on Billy Stubbs in a holding role in front of the back four and the tactic worked well, giving added aerial support the the over-worked defence.
Kempston almost pulled one back in the 68th minute when a high ball into the box was punched out by Drury. Hirst headed the ball back goalwards and the Harrowby custodian produced a superb save, diving backwards to flick the ball up and on to the cross bar. As the ball dropped, Simon Bolland hooked the ball away to clear the danger.
Harrowby always looked dangerous on the break and in the 74th minute on one such sortie, Conway saved well from a shot from the edge of the box by Watson.
Shaw was unlucky not to put the outcome of the game beyond doubt in the 81st first minute when he got the better of the Rovers defence to fire in a shot that hit the inside of the right hand post and stayed out.
With six minutes remaining, Kempston were finally rewarded for their endeavours when a shot through a crowd of players was well saved by Drury before being scrambled home from inside the six-yard box by Seb Simpson.
A very nervous last few minutes saw dogged defending to see out the remaining time and give Harrowby nine points out of 12 since the arrival of the new management team.
Harrowby United: Drury (c), Weatherstone, Watson, Hill, Whyley, Potts, Currall, Bolland, Webb (Stubbs, 65), Carr, Shaw. Subs not used: Daykin, Hotchin.