Defence Rules The Day As Single Goal Makes The Difference
12th January 2019
Harborough Town looked to repeat their 5-1 dismantling of Pagnell that occurred the last time these 2 sides met in the league just weeks ago. With Pagnell just 2 points inferior to The Bees in the table, this fixture would prove an important mid-table encounter with the winner grasping onto 14th place.
The opening 10 minutes lined this game up to be an exciting fixture, with both teams finding their footing in the game. Within minutes, Aaron Preston had outmuscled his marker and held the ball up well at the half way line, before spotting Alex Morris galloping down the right. Preston’s ping was inch-perfect landing at the feet of Morris, who just couldn’t get enough power behind his cross to cause serious concerns. Tony Bartlett fired in a dangerous free kick from the far left, but Ben Williams was just inches away from directing the ball goalbound. Pagnell too proved an attacking threat, with Glen Giles having to heroically put his body (and face) on the line to stop Dom Lawless powering through; moments later, he pulled off a routine save from a good effort on the edge of the box. Both defensive units tightened up after leaking multiple opportunities in the first 10 minutes, and the game came to a standstill with neither side making waves. Pagnell saw the next best chance of the half in the 38th minute, but Tom Liversedge blasted his first-time effort over the bar.
The strong defensive efforts continued into the second half, with much of play being limited to the middle third and frequent possession changes. On the 65th minute, Pagnell finally broke down Harborough’s stout backline, and Dom Lawless fired the hosts in front with a venomous effort. The Bees piled on the pressure in the closing minutes, having a strong presence in the Pagnell half; during which they played some of the most attractive football of the game with smart runs and quick passing. Still, though, they were unable to break the Pagnell defence, with the best chance falling to a wild Alex Morris volley as one of the final touches of the game.
Harborough Town will feel hard done by not getting something out of the game, the back-four put in a solid performance and it was only one slip-up that cost them. With a game where neither team were able to really control the game or create many chances, it was unfortunate Harborough took the loss as it could’ve gone in their favour on another day. Harborough now look toward a rest next weekend, before welcoming Deeping Rangers on Tuesday 22nd January.