Harrowby United’s expectations borne out in away defeat
United Counties League
Desborough Town 5
Harrowby United 0
Harrowby travelled to Northamptonshire to face Desborough Town on a dull, drizzly afternoon knowing a tough game was on the cards as fourth-placed ‘Ar Tarn’ looked to put behind them a previous week’s Cup semi-final penalty shootout defeat.
The high flying home side were fast out of the blocks and immediately had the Arrows on the back foot. They almost took the lead in the sixth minute when a good ball out from their defence by Leo Adams sent away John Dean who cut inside before firing a shot into the side netting.
The opening goal came seven minutes later when Olly Jones won the ball and slipped it to Dan Grainger in midfield. Grainger, with far too much time all afternoon due to the Arrows defending very deep, played a fine ball through to Will Arnold who calmly slotted into the net past a helpless Chris Bennett in the Harrowby goal.
Only four minutes later Town doubled their lead when a cleared corner was played back over the advancing Harrowby defence by Grainger to Jason Turner who controlled the ball and shot past Bennett as the Arrows appealed for offside.
Desborough took their foot off the pedal after the goal but still caused the Arrows defence problems. United skipper John Currall was forced to knock the ball behind for a corner from a dangerous cross from the left after 36 minutes, taking it away from Dan White at the far post. Bennett kept the half time score down to two with a fine save from a Turner shot just before the break.
The second half was a repeat of the first with Desborough picking up their tempo again and Harrowby defending deep. The Arrows lost Geoge McCartney just before the hour mark with an injury, replaced by Luke Farmer.
Desborough added a third goal in the 63rd minute when a ball out to the left found Jones who took a touch before firing a low drive that found the net, taking a slight deflection off Anderson Uduovie on the way.
Bennett made a fine save from an Adams header from a corner two minutes later as the Arrows tried to keep the hosts at bay.
Desborough bagged a fourth goal in the 81st minute when a corner from the right was met with a stooping header from Adams that somehow crept in low at the foot of the post through a crowd of players.
Harrowby’s best effort of the half came from a good run from midfield in the 87th minute by Matt Clarke, although the quality of the shot, having got himself in a good position, didn’t match, going high and wide of the goal.
A minute later, Harrowby had a real let-off when Turner picked up a through-ball, took it into the penalty area, rounded Bennett before hitting the post with the whole empty goal at his mercy.
With less than a minute left on the clock, Desborough chalked up a fifth goal when a long, hopeful ball forward caused hesitation in the Harrowby penalty area which was taken advantage of by an alert Michael Boyle-Chong who nipped in to cheekily nod past Bennett to round off an afternoon as miserable for the Arrows as the weather.
Harrowby United: Bennett, Eatough, Sharpe, Currall (c), Uduovie, Floyd, Hickey, Browne, McCartney (Farmer 58), Denty (Chavundura 70), Clarke.