Match Report – Saturday 17th August 2019
Pinchbeck United FC v Harborough Town FC.

Harborough returned from Spalding with a much deserved 3 points and a convincing display against a resilient Pinchbeck team. The manager made 2 changes from the previous week with new midweek signing, Sam Preston coming straight into the team at the back and Josh Walsh getting his first start since returning from his long term injury.

Harborough started strongly and never gave their opponents a second to settle in the opening 10 minutes with an intensity typified by the midfield of Steer and Ashkir. Forbes up front was the first to cause mayhem in the Pinchbeck back line, a great through ball from Williams saw Forbes race clear only to be hacked down on the edge of the box, with the Pinchbeck defender extremely fortunate to see only a yellow card produced by the referee. Although it shouldn’t be said, the fact this happened inside the first 10 minutes probably had a bearing on the colour of card.

From the resultant free kick Preston saw his shot rebound off the wall and away for the first corner of the afternoon to the Bees. The deliveries from set plays was excellent all game, causing all sorts of problems for the home defence. Harborough took the lead after 17 minutes when a fine move involving Ashkir and Forbes ended with the latter side footing home after Lovelace in the Pinchbeck goal could only parry Ashkir’s drive. 1-0 to the Bees.

Harborough should have extended their lead on 24 minutes when again a neat move down the right saw Ashkir pass to Preston, who pulled his shot wide with just the keeper to beat. Bartlett, down the right and Gray, down the left were causing problems for the Pinchbeck back line and constant threats with crosses and corners from both was a feature of the first half. On 31 minutes new boy Sam Preston saw his powerful header rebound off the bar from 10 yards, after another pinpoint corner from Bartlett.

Totally against the run of play a long ball found its way through to Edwards who calmly controlled the ball and played it square to Jordan Nuttell to tap home from 10 yards. This highlighted that if you don’t take your chances at one end you are always susceptible to conceding at the other. This seemed to unsettle Harborough for 5 minutes and but for an excellent clearance from Williams the Bees could have found themselves 2-1 down, when dominating the game.

Williams further enhanced his commanding game when, after his clearance at one end he powered a 41st minute header past the home keeper from another Bartlett corner. 2-1 half time.

Pinchbeck changed their formation at Half time and matched Harborough like for like, it seemed to stem the flow of pressure from the visitors for the first 10 minutes after the re start in a period were Pinchbeck probably had their best period of the game, albeit without Giles in the Harborough goal having to make any saves.

On 57 minutes a great move through midfield, dictated by Walsh, saw Ashkir play in Forbes who waited for the overlapping Gray before releasing him into the box to drive an unstoppable shot past the home keeper, 3-1 to the visitors.

Further neat play between Steer and Forbes, saw the latter fire a low ball across the six yards box just waiting for a Harborough player to make contact but sadly it was not to be. A change on 65 minutes saw Steer replaced by Taylor, who was brought on to shore up an already impressive midfield. Two minuets later and it was 4-1, another neat interchange down the left saw Gray mirror his earlier strike when he fired in an unstoppable shot across the keeper.

Gladman came on to replace the impressive Ashkir on 70 minutes, which was the last thing the Pinchbeck defence wanted to see! His direct running and pace created further chances, with the keeper foiling Gladman himself on 73 minutes with a neat stop down to his left, quickly followed by a perfect through ball from Forbes found Gladman again, this time he rounded the keeper but the angle proved just too tight, with his effort hitting the side netting. Harborough were in total control and had another good effort saved by the home keeper late on, when Preston’s shot was saved.

A convincing away performance and a fine win with some good football and solid performances all round, especially from Sam Preston on debut and the returning Josh Walsh from a long term injury.

Next Saturday (24th) sees us back to the Harborough Town Community Football Ground for which I am sure will prove to be a difficult match against a Cogenhoe side who have been resolute in defence in their opening matches. Kick off is 3pm and we look forward to welcoming you!