Harrowby blow UCL premier rivals away in gale force winds
Harrowby United continued their run of good form against Wellingborough Town in near gale force winds at the Environcom Stadium with three unanswered goals.
The Doughboys had the advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half but the game’s first chance came Harrowby’s way when, on the counter attack, Simon Bolland played a fine through ball for top scorer Danny Durkin to run onto.
The young striker advanced on the Wellingborough goal but his low shot was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Aaron Bellairs.
The visitors then made the most of the wind enjoying the majority of possession and putting Harrowby on the back foot without threatening.
Just past the half-hour mark a cross into the box was hooked over the bar by Scott Liebscher.
The Doughboys forced a succession of corners which were well dealt with by Arrows’ custodian Jonny Hotson.
The big keeper used his height to full effect to tip over the bar on two occasions when the high winds carried the ball dangerously goalwards.
Arguably, against the run of play, Harrowby took the lead three minutes before the break. A ball over the top of the visiting defence saw Hotson alert in coming off his line to reach a 50-50 ball with Doughboys’ skipper Joe Rich bearing down on him.
Rich got there first and managed to knock it forward off his knee and Fraser Bayliss reacting first to delicately lob the ball into the net over stranded goalkeeper Bellairs.
Harrowby began the second half well and doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart.
A move down the left flank involving debutant Zak Yussuf and Bayliss brought about a cross from the latter which was met by a great header from Durkin, who found the the bottom right hand corner.
Harrowby almost added a third on 61 minutes when more good work from Bayliss ended with him playing a ball inside to substitute Scott Webb, whose shot just drifted just wide of the post.
Five minutes later Webb returned the favour for Bayliss with a great ball but Bellairs saved well from him.
Wellingborough hadn’t given the game up and midway through the half Nathan Burrows was unlucky to see his shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar.
In the 73rd minute the Northamptonshire side struck the woodwork again.
Hotson pushed a Burrows header against the bar before the loose ball was hacked to safety by Bolland.
Harrowby made the game safe in the 75th minute with a fine solo goal from Webb.
The wide man picked the ball up on the left before drifting inside, beating three players and calmly slotting the ball past Bellairs into the right hand bottom corner.
Wellingborough were denied a consolation 10 minutes from time when a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area was well blocked by Arrows’ man of the match Jack Whyley.
Two minutes later Burrows was again foiled by a save from Hotson, who parried his shot away from a free kick.
Harrowby have now been beaten only twice in the last dozen outings.
Harrowby United Man Of The Match: Jack Whyley.
Harrowby United: Jonny Hotson, Simon Bolland, John Currall, Jack Whyley, Billy Stubbs (c), George Stainfield (Declan Carr 57), Ian Hillier (Sam Weatherstone 78}, Sam Hill, Zak Yussuf (Scott Webb 61), Danny Durkin, Fraser Bayliss.
Subs not used: Scott Floyd, Rob Dunn.
l Harrowby travel to Cogenhoe United in the UCL Knockout Cup on Saturday (3pm).
The Arrows are next in UCL premier division action on Tuesday evening at Deeping Rangers (7.45pm).