United Counties League
Sileby Rangers 3
Harrowby United 1
Harrowby travelled to Fernie Fields in Northampton, home of Sileby Rangers and, after the high of a great result and performance the previous week, turned in one of their most indifferent performances of the season.
Kick-off was delayed due to one of the referee’s assistants picking up an injury in his pre-match warm-up. This conveniently aided the home side as they waited for the late arrival of goalkeeper Quincey Shorunmu.
A new assistant was found, a Sileby official, who needed some extra time to prepare, and the game eventually got underway with Rangers fielding 10 players whilst awaiting their keeper.
The Arrows kicked off but carelessly gave possession away and found themselves a goal down after only 20 seconds as the ball was crossed into the penalty area for Gokhan Ulker who finished smartly from 10 yards out.
A couple of minutes later, Shorunmu entered the fray, taking his position between the sticks and allowing his deputy Stuart McMichael to rejoin Michael Byrne in attack.
On 13 minutes, Arrows keeper Jack Drury saved well, palming away a strong shot from the edge of the box from Karbo Motshweni.
But Rangers doubled their lead after 22 minutes when a corner whipped in at pace to the near post by Mark Forbes was met by a neat flick from Byrne which flew past a host of players and into the net.
Harrowby enjoyed their best spell of the game as half time approached, forcing saves from Shorunmu who first pushed away a Luke Peberdy effort from the edge of the penalty area and then smothered an effort from Lee Shaw. Declan Carr shot over the bar after 44 minutes and, two minutes into stoppage time, Jack Whyley headed a Scott Webb corner wide of the goal.
The home side regained the initiative after the break and two minutes in Drury made the save of the game, acrobatically tipping over a fine lob from Byrne which looked to be going in.
The game deteriorated into a scrappy midfield battle as both teams gave the ball away all too frequently.
Harrowby did get a foothold as the game entered its final quarter and the Arrows reduced the deficit in the 70th minute when a deep cross from the right was cleverly headed back across the goal by substitute Scott Floyd to find Shaw who finished from inside the six-yard box.
Two minutes later, with Harrowby pressing for an equaliser, a controversial moment turned the game in Sileby’s favour and knocked the stuffing out of the Arrows. A long ball up field found its way to Byrne who appeared to be offside by some distance. The replacement linesman’s flag was not forthcoming and the Sileby striker finished past Drury with some aplomb, sparking huge protestations from the Harrowby team. After consulting his assistant, referee Mr Whenham gave the goal.
A deflated Harrowby side failed to trouble a resolute Sileby rearguard for the remainder of the game and Rangers saw it out to take all three points.
Harrowby United’s man-of-the-match was Scott Floyd.
Harrowby United: Drury (c), Weatherstone, Clarke, Hill, Whyley, Webb, Currall (Stubbs, 45), Peberdy, Watson (Floyd, 63), Carr, Shaw.