Match report Saturday 24th August 2019
HTFC 3 v 0 Cogenhoe United
Harborough came into this game off the back of an excellent away day performance at Pinchbeck the week before. 2 changes this week with Aaron Preston and Fin Gray both not available and replaced by Barnes Gladman up front and Ryan Hodkinson coming in for Gray.
On a blistering hot day Harborough were quick out of the blocks, Gladman striking the woodwork in the 7th minute and further chance quickly followed when Hodkinson jinked his way past 3 defenders before firing a low cross across the face of the visitors goal, unfortunately no Harborough player was able to get to the ball before it ran away to safety.
The game soon settled into a routine with the visitors clearly defending in numbers and leaving just one up against a well organised Bees defence. On 19 minutes good work again by Hodkinson saw his cross met by the onrushing Ashkir who volleyed in off the bar to give the Bees an early lead. Cogenhoe were breaking up the Bees play and the fluidity of the normal crisp passing game was off with many mis placed passes dominating the home teams play. Forbes should have added a second when he raced clear and took the ball neatly around the keeper and with a solitary defender to beat somehow construed to hit his shot at the said defender on the goal line and the ball rebounded to safety.
Giles was nearly caught dwelling on the ball when Baines closed him down and got a foot in but the ball was mopped up and any scare was swiftly dealt with.
Half time 1-0
Bees manager Stuart Spencer read the riot act at the interval demanding better play and more controlled possession from his players. The second half continued as the first, although it does have to be said a change in the Cogenhoe set up did see them gain more possession without creating any real clear chances. The best probably came when a fine through ball found Charlton on the edge of the box but his touch let him down badly. A second opportunity came but Giles saved at his near post
Harborough soon had another chance to extend their lead when Forbes raced clear and ran down on goal and when the crowd were expecting a shot, he squared towards Gladman only for a defender to get a foot in and clear the ball away for a corner. Harborough rang the changes on 58 minutes with Gladman replaced by Corey Ironmonger making his first team debut and Baker replaced by Pete Taylor, with Walsh dropping into the back line. Cogenhoe kept plugging away and stuck rigidly to their game plan.
On 70 minutes Freddie Robinson replaced the injured Ashkir in midfield, soon after Forbes was again in the thick of the action breaking the visitors offside trap and racing clear on goal this time there was only one thing on the forwards mind and with coolness and precision he side footed Harborough’s 2nd past Cunningham in the Cogenhoe goal. Breathing space for the Bees and 2 very soon became 3 in a near exact repeat of their 2nd goal when Forbes raced clear again and again slotted home very neatly to increase the lead to 3-0.
Harborough managed the last 10 minutes comfortably even though they finished the game with 10 men after Steer was forced off injured and with all 3 subs already on the field meant that the home team would play out the final 5 minutes with 10 men.
Another great win and with Rugby Town dropping points and Loughborough University playing in the FA Cup, meant this 3 points put Harborough at the top of the table and unbeaten for August.
Next week we travel to Burnham FC, near Slough, who play at the same level as us in the Hellenic Premier Division, to play in the preliminary round of the FA Vase. A coach is booked and there remain a few seats available, if you are interested to book a seat on the coach then please contact Peter Dougan on 07834 706053 or email [email protected]
Up the BEES!