Harrowby United return to winning ways at unbeaten side
United Counties League
Cogenhoe United 1
Harrowby United 4
Harrowby United travelled to Northamptonshire looking to get back to winning ways against a Cogenhoe United side who were unbeaten at home before the Arrows visit.
Callum Wilkinson was the pick of an excellent team performance, returning from injury to bag his first hat trick in an Arrows shirt.
Harrowby surprised their hosts, starting the game at a high tempo and forcing them to defend right from the off. In the first minute a long throw from Ian Hillier was flicked on by Billy Stubbs to Scott Webb whose low shot was well blocked. A minute later Harrowby forced a corner which when delivered from the right by Hillier was met by a Stubbs header that flashed just wide of the left hand upright.
The Arrows took the lead in the 10th minute when another Hillier throw into the box was challenged for by Jack Whyley, the ball dropping to Sam Hill whose shot was charged down but fell to Craig Bridge who hooked it into the net.
The lead was doubled three minutes later when a Stubbs header out of defence was taken forward by Simon Bolland who then played a ball on to Bridge. The Harrowby striker produced an exquisite touch to set fellow forward Wilkinson in on goal and who coolly slotted past the on-rushing ‘Cooks’ keeper Brendan Brown and into the net.
The home side responded and Harrowby keeper Jonny Hotson was called into action after 15 minutes to save a low shot from the edge of the box from Dean Lukeman. The game had become end to end stuff at this point and Bridge fired a shot wide after 23minutes before Cogenhoe got themselves back into the game. A long ball over the Harrowby back line led to a chase to the ball between Hotson and Cogenhoe’s prolific striker Alfie Taylor. Taylor won the race and delicately lifted ball over the big Arrows stopper and into the empty net.
As the home side finished the half strongly, Harrowby took the wind out of their sails with a smash and grab goal just before the break. Sam Weatherstone broke quickly and slipped a ball through to Bridge whose shot from the right side of the penalty area was well saved by Brown at the expense of a corner. The resulting kick found its way to Wilkinson at the back of the box who turned inside and fired a low drive into the far corner of the net.
Harrowby had an early scare straight from the restart, Hotson getting down well to save a shot from the edge of the area from Taylor. At the other end Bridge turned smartly in the fifty first minute to create himself space for a shot that he dragged wide of the goal. Harrowby gave themself some breathing space when in the fifty sixth minute a move down the left saw the ball fed to Wilkinson whose mazy run into the penalty area was ended when Brown slid out at his feet, felling the big hit man but failing to get the ball. Referee Mr Anderson pointed to the penalty spot and awarded the keeper a yellow card. Wilkinson picked himself up and calmly despatched the spot kick into the net to complete his hat trick.
To their credit, Cogenhoe did not throw the towel in and put Harrowby under pressure for the rest of the game. And the Arrows went close to adding a fifth but Hillier saw his dipping free kick saved superbly by Brown.
Harrowby comfortably saw out the closing minutes to collect three valuable points at a ground where they are usually rarely attainable.
Harrowby United: Hotson, Bolland, Watson, Whyley, Stubbs (c), Webb (Currall, 79), Hillier, Hill, Weatherstone (Wilcocks, 66), Wilkinson, Bridge.