Harrowby United defeated in final game of the season
United Counties League
Harrowby United 0
Wisbech Town 5
Harrowby United entertained Wisbech Town in their last game of a difficult season on a bright and sunny afternoon at the Environcom Stadium.
The Fenmen, warming up for Bank Holiday Monday’s UCL Knockout Cup Final, ran out comfortable winners.
The visitors started brightly and forced the first chance of the game after only three minutes when a shot by Billy Smith went wide for a goal kick, failing to trouble Harrowby’s stand-in goalkeeper Matt Clarke.
Clarke’s debut for the Arrows was brought to a premature end after only 12 minutes when Wisbech top scorer Michael Frew chased a ball through the middle and Clarke, in attempting to get to the ball first, caught the striker resulting in referee Mr O’Sullivan awarding a penalty kick. The unfortunate Clarke received a nasty knock to the head which forced him to leave the field bloodied and bruised, replaced by the Arrows only substitute, Tino Chavundura.
After a lengthy delay, defender Nick Eatough went between the sticks and his first job was to pick the ball out of the net as Fenmen keeper Sam Vince stepped up to slot home the spot kick.
After 21 minutes, a strong run from Arrows’ Scott Floyd ended with a shot that cleared the crossbar. Only a minute later, Harrowby’s injury woes continued as a strong challenge on Dean Michniew brought them a foul, but saw them reduced to 10 players as an ankle injury left the Arrows striker unable to continue.
Another overly robust Wisbech challenge, this time on Floyd wasn’t punished by the referee and Harrowby’s Liam Jaques was awarded a yellow card for his protestations.
Three minutes later, Wisbech doubled their lead when a Smith corner was flicked on by Frew and tapped into the net by Adam Millison.
A minute into stoppage time at the end of the half, Floyd received a yellow card for a foul and from the resulting cross into the box by Smith, the ball found it way to Fenmen skipper Jon Fairweather who slotted home from 12 yards out.
With a cup final in two days time and a numerical advantage, Wisbech were content to play a patient low tempo game with manager Dick Creasey able to rest players. They added a fourth goal on the hour mark when Eatough parried a shot from Alex Beck, only for Millison to pounce on to the rebound and fire home.
Eight minutes later, the Fenmen wrapped up the scoring when another Smith corner found substitute Sam Murphy who made no mistake converting a free header.
The final whistle brought to an end a turbulent season in which the Arrows were forced to use 72 players and saw managers and coaches leave the club at different times of the season. A second to bottom finish sees them in a relegation spot although it’s never that simple at this level of football, and a stay of execution is sometimes given . . .
Harrowby United: Clarke (Chavundura 12), Floyd, Quinn, Currall (c), Eatough, McCartney, Jaques, Browne, Matongo, Denty, Michniew.