Match Report – Saturday 8th December 2018

Harborough Town v Daventry Town

Another good team performance against the runaway league leaders, ultimately ends in disappointment.

In tricky conditions this game started slowly with a definite air of trepidation from both teams. Early exchanges were through the middle of the park with neither team settling. The real first attacking play of the game came on 16 minutes and resulted in the only goal of the game. A through ball found Luke Emery whose shot was blocked by the on rushing Glenn Giles in the Harborough goal, the ball then fell to Taylor Orosz whose effort was also saved by Giles, the ball however fell to Creaney who bent the ball around two defenders into the top right hand corner of the goal. It was a bit harsh on Giles who had made 2 really good stops but couldn’t deny the persistent attackers.Harborough started to find their feet and on 25 minutes Harry Henbury cut in from the left wing and fired a vicious shot wide of the far post. Next it was the impressive Pete Taylor who, on 29 minutes picked the ball up and after some neat footwork and interchange with Preston fired a low shot which the Daventry keeper saved comfortably low down to his left. Then Callum Steer found himself in a wide position picking up a throw in, he like Henbury earlier cut inside and hit a fierce shot which the visiting keeper tipped over the bar for a corner. From the resulting corner it was Steer again who glanced a near post header, just wide of the post. Harborough were getting themselves into the game but in truth Daventry were dangerous on the attack and another defence splitting pass found Emery through on goal, but he pulled his shot wide under pressure from Calum Traynor and Giles.Daventry finished the half strongly forcing successive corners, but Harborough stood strong and dealt with the aerial threat well. Half time 0-1.

Daventry had defended the wind well and would have gone in feeling they would dominate the second half as the wind and rain became stronger. However, it was Harborough that came out the stronger and straight from the kick off nearly equalised. Alex Morris was played in by Josh Walsh, the ball held up slightly in the wind, which benefitted the Harborough winger as the keeper had started to come only to realise that Morris’ pace would mean he would get to the ball first, he managed to get the ball around the keeper and with the ball heading goalward a covering defender just managed to scramble the ball away.Harborough were lifted by this and started to get more of the ball but the midfield where finding it difficult in the strong wind and driving rain to find the final pass. On 58 minutes Emery again was set free, he took on Traynor and the alert Giles was again called into action with a neat save at his near post blocking Emery’ effort.

Manager Stuart Spencer introduced Dan Forbes on 70 minutes in a re shuffle that saw Steer go off and Walsh drop back into midfield and allow Forbes to play just in behind the front man Preston. Forbes played Preston in on 72 minutes and the forward hit a venomous shot from the edge of the box which the keeper had to get down well too and make a good save.Spencer then introduced new signing Archie Elmore, the young forward player signing on work experience from League 1 side Shrewsbury Town. Elmore replaced Alex Morris and showed some neat footwork and skill almost immediately and combining with Tony Bartlett they produced a cross that just evaded the in rushing Forbes who agonisingly could not make good enough contact to head the ball into the Daventry goal.Harborough were forced into their final substation with 10 minutes left when a very late and over the top tackle was missed by the officials and left young full back Finlay Gray needing treatment on and off the pitch. Ibz Jalloh coming on to replace the injured Gray.One final moment of panic for Daventry when in the 92nd minute Harborough thought they had forced an equaliser, a goal mouth scramble ensued and a couple of goal line blocks made by the resolute Daventry defenders just about holding out the Harborough attack, there was still time for a penalty appeal which was turned down by the referee, within the resulting melee.

Harborough played well but ultimately probably did not do well enough when in possession with many final passes going astray, the wind made things difficult and Daventry knew they had been in a tough game and were glad to hear the final whistle to extend their lead at the top of the table to 12 points.

Next week sees the Bees at home again to local rivals Rothwell Corinthians, we look forward to your continued support!