United Counties League
Harrowby United 1
Wisbech Town 1
Harrowby United rescued a point against Wisbech Town with a late Danny Durkin goal, despite playing for 40 minutes with 10 players.
The Arrows got off to the worst possible start, falling behind in the second minute. A disputed throw-in to the Fenmen was played down the right flank for Matt Sparrow whose fine deep cross was nodded home at the far post by Michael Frew.
On nine minutes, Arrow’ keeper Jonny Hotson did well to palm away a shot from the edge of the box by Sparrow.
Harrowby’s first chance came after 16 minutes, carved out by Durkin. The young striker produced a fine first touch to take him past his marker, before advancing on the Fenmen’s goal and firing a low shot from the right edge of the penalty area which went just wide of the far post.
Shortly after, Sam Weatherstone was very unlucky to receive a yellow card from referee Miss Grundy when the foul that she blew for was actually committed by Simon Bolland. Despite protestations from both sides, it was still Weatherstone’s name that went in the book.
After 32 minutes, a cross into the Wisbech penalty area was headed goalwards by Durkin, but comfortably saved by Fenmen keeper Aaron Butcher.
The visitors should have doubled their lead after 38 minutes when a ball over the Harrowby defence saw Sparrow get the better of Sam Hill, before rounding Hotson, only to casually side foot the ball into the side netting when he had the time to walk the ball into an empty net. It was a miss that would come back to haunt Wisbech later.
Just on half time, Arrows skipper Billy Stubbs produced a goal saving tackle, getting across Frew to block as the striker seemed poised to stroke the ball into the net.
Harrowby’s task of getting back into the game became harder five minutes into the second half when a reckless tackle from Weatherstone saw Miss Grundy consult with her assistant Mr Tunnicliffe, before producing a second yellow card and subsequent red for the unfortunate midfielder.
A man down, the under-strength Harrowby dug deep and kept Wisbech at bay with their tenacity and phenomenal workrate. Hotson produced the save of the game after 70 minutes, tipping over a header from Frew as the Arrows continued to frustrate their visitors.
An unlikely equaliser came with seven minutes remaining when, on a rare foray into the visitors, final third of the pitch, Harrowby won a corner. The resulting ball into the penalty area brought about a scramble in the Wisbech six yard box and Durkin produced the decisive touch to knock the ball over the line and into the net.
Harrowby saw out the remaining minutes to secure a hard earned point in a game the visitors will have thought they should have won comfortably.
Harrowby man of the match was Lewis Watson.
Harrowby United: Hotson, Bolland, Watson, Hill, Stubbs (c), Revell (Dunn, 56), Weatherstone, Andersen, Martin (Coverley, 78), Durkin, Bayliss. Sub not used: Jessop.
l Harrowby United’s next game is at home to local rivals Sleaford Town on Bank Holiday Monday (December 28), kick-off 3pm.