Harrowby United win by odd goal in three

Harrowby United's Tawanda Bilson closes down John Knape, with John Currall covering behind.
Harrowby United's Tawanda Bilson closes down John Knape, with John Currall covering behind.
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United Counties League

Division One

Harrowby United 2

S&L Corby 1

Harrowby United entertained the league’s current basement team on a blustery afternoon at Dickens Road, and ran out narrow winners by the odd goal in three.

If the Arrows thought they would have an easy afternoon in front of them, as the Foundrymen are still looking for their first point of the season, it proved to be far from the case.

The young S&L side side started brightly and the lively Rolandas Lukesaitas brought a fine early save from Arrows custodian Sam Andrew who had to get down smartly to his right to palm away the striker’s shot from the edge of the box. Harrowby responded when Sam Grouse had a shot from a narrow angle on the right blocked at the expense of a corner by Donald Shyti.

Just past the hour mark, S&L’s stand-in goalkeeper, manager Ian Benjamin, made a tremendous save as a cross from the left by Grouse was met by Joe Briers whose powerful right foot shot was pushed on to the cross bar and over for a corner.

In the 38th minute, Harrowby again hit the woodwork when a throw-in was flicked on by Luke Peberdy to Grouse who turned smartly to make room for a shot which clipped the bar and went behind for a goal kick.

The game became quite open and four minutes before the break, Andrew made the save of the game when a long punt upfield was picked up by Lukesaitas who cut in from the right to fire in a low shot that looked destined for the bottom corner, until Andrew flung himself to his left to turn the ball around the post at full stretch.

The visitors started the second half well and, in the 48th minute, Lukesaitas was played through on goal but, with just Andrew to beat, scuffed a tame shot wide of the left hand post.

Just past the hour mark, Harowby took the lead. A cross into the box from the right by Tawanda Bilson saw Grouse impeded by Greg Purcell. The contact was minimal but the defender’s arm across the Arrows’ top scorer was considered enough for referee Mr Marsden to award a penalty kick. Grouse picked himself up to slot the ball home off the inside of the left hand upright.

The visitors’ heads didn’t drop and they forced an equaliser in the 71st minute. Harrowby’s defence switched off as a throw came in from the right. The ball was flicked on by Adam Frisch, finding its way past a static back line to substitute Robert Bain who shot home from close range.

In the 76th minute, Grouse advanced down the right before crossing to an unmarked Felix Hogg on the edge of the penalty area, but the Arrows midfielder got under the ball and his shot flew over the bar.

A minute later, Harrowby were awarded their second spot kick of the afternoon, this time far more clear cut. A cross from the left was heading the way of Bilson who was pushed in the back, denying him a header and Mr Marsden, supported by his assistant Mr Giles, awarded the penalty. Grouse again stepped up and emphatically despatched the ball into the net to restore Harrowby’s lead.

Harrowby almost extended their advantage with six minutes left to play when substitute Liam Smith chased down a long ball, passed to Bilson who moved the ball inside to debutant Leighton Simmonds, who shot just wide.

The final minutes passed without incident to give the three points to Harrowby, although the Corby side equipped themselves well.

Harrowby United: Andrew, Currall, Havron, Whyley, Bilson (McCartney 90), Phillip, Briers, Hogg, John (Simmonds 74), Peberdy (Smith 45), Grouse. Subs not used: Wroughton, Parker-Lax.