Stoppage time goal breaks hearts of 10-man Harrowby United

Sam Hill and Liam Harper shared man of the match.
Sam Hill and Liam Harper shared man of the match.
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United Counties League

Desborough Town 2

Harrowby United 1

Harrowby United travelled to Waterworks Field, home of Desborough Town, and suffered injury time heartbreak as the hosts finally broke the superb rearguard action of Harrowby’s 10 men.

The Arrows’ numbers were reduced by a red card for full back Sam Weatherstone just before the half hour mark.

Harrowby got off to a flying start, pushing Desborough back from the outset. In the first minute, skipper Martin Wormall released Lee Shaw down the right flank who whipped a great cross to Lewis Watson at the far post. Debutant Watson’s header went just over the crossbar. Watson had another effort four minutes later when a header out from a corner fell to him on the edge of the box, but his shot flew over the bar.

After 14 minutes, Harrowby forced a corner on the right. Scott Webb put the ball in and Billy Stubbs’s header was pushed over the bar by Richard Lavin in the Desborough goal. From the resulting corner, Liam Harper rose the highest and powered a header past Lavin to put the Arrows in front.

Desborough lifted their game in response and, after a period of pressure, forced a succession of corners. From one of these in the 27th minute, Jake Bettles, appearing to push Harper in the process, headed goalwards. Weatherstone on the Harrowby goal-line stuck out an arm to deflect the ball over the cross bar. Referee Mr Cooper, having missed the push, pointed to the spot and was left with no choice but to produce a red card for Weatherstone.

Michael Byrne stepped up and planted the spot kick into the bottom right hand corner, giving the returning Jack Drury no chance.

Desborough continued to press and went close 10 minutes later from another header from a corner, but Webb cleared the ball off the line.

The home side bombarded United’s 10 men in the second half, but the visitors defended superbly and had to make do with the occasional counter-attack.

After 67 minutes, another header from a corner was tipped over by Drury. Six minutes later, Drury palmed a fierce shot from the edge over bar as the Arrows dug in and looked to hold on for a point.

A minute from time, Webb again cleared off the line, this time a shot through a crowd of players after another scramble, following a corner kick.

After a valiant defensive effort, the Arrows’ hearts were broken a minute into stoppage time. A throw-in on the right led to a ball played into the penalty area which was only headed out as for as substitute Michael Boyle-Chong, about 15 yards out. Boyle-Chong got over the ball and fired his shot into the ground, with the ball taking a slight deflection off Stubbs before nestling in the back of the net.

Desbourough saw out the remaining couple of minutes to secure the three points.

Harrowby’s man of the match award was shared between Liam Harper and Sam Hill.

Harrowby United: Drury, Weatherstone, Clarke (Currall, 38), Hill, Stubbs, Shaw, Harper, Bolland, Watson, Wormall (Payne’ 81), Webb.