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Harrowby United face Newark Town in the United Counties League Division One play-off final





Manager Jamie McGhee is hoping his Harrowby United side can maintain their impressive away form for one final time this weekend.

The Arrows travel to face Newark Town in the United Counties League Division One play-off final on Saturday (3pm).

Victory will earn promotion to step five of the non-league pyramid for the Arrows who have performed better on the road this season.

Manager Jamie McGhee leads the celebrations after the semi-final win. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Manager Jamie McGhee leads the celebrations after the semi-final win. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

They have taken 38 points on their travels this term as opposed to the 33 gained at the JRL Brickwork Stadium which McGhee hopes will work in their favour on Saturday.

He said: "There will be emotion on Saturday because it is a derby so there will be rivalry and a lot of people there.

"Ultimately, we're not under pressure though and I like the underdog mentality that we have.

"Our away form has been much better this season than our home one so I strangely wanted an away tie.

"We talk about the extra one percent that might benefit us and being away from home is one of them."

Harrowby's excellent away form certainly came to the fore last weekend as they booked their place in the final with a superb 4-1 away success at Clipstone.

The Cobras had finished 23 points clear of Harrowby in the final table but McGhee's men produced one of their best displays of his tenure to record an emphatic win.

He commented: "Both of the league games against Clipstone were really tight and, although they had finished well clear of us, there wasn't much between us in the balance of play.

"I was quietly confident and felt we had the bit between our teeth to go and get a result.

"We completely dismantled them and it was probably one of the best all-round performances I've seen from us during my time at the club.

"It allowed us to have that belief because in a normal season Clipstone would win the league with that points total but Bourne have been such an absolute machine this year.

"Last Saturday can't be treated as the cup final though because it wasn't. It was a good achievement and we deserved to win but that has to be our minimum performance levels.

Elliot King. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Elliot King. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

"We have to increase it again and I believe that if we do then we win the game but so many things can happen or go wrong.

"We have to stay relaxed and keep to the philosophy which I have and, if it doesn't work, then so be it and that's on me.

"I will always keep us grounded but the lads are a really good bunch. They don't get over zealous or above themselves.

"They know where they are and have got to work hard. I always say to them before a game that if they give maximum effort then you'll get maximum reward. We're confident but there is a different spin on the final."

The final will pit a number of former players against their old clubs - including Harrowby's semi-final hat-trick hero Elliot King.

King left the Arrows in the close season to join the Blues before returning to McGhee's fold where he has already reached a double figure goal haul and formed an impressive partnership with top scorer Harry Allcock.

McGhee commented: "Newark are a good side who are a well-oiled machine but so are we and it lends itself to being a pretty good day out for everybody.

"We can't worry about the emotion of it though. We've just got to take it in our stride because, at the end of the day, there can be only one winner.

"We can't play the occasion. We have to play the game and stick to what we do well.

"If we don't come away from what we do well then we will give ourselves every chance of winning the game.

"I've always said that and I strongly believe it. If we get embroiled into the emotion of it and come away from the position of what's got us where we are then we won't win the game.

"We've prepared the team right, the lads know their jobs and it's now just about going out and doing it on Saturday."

The two league matches between the sides have both ended in draws with a 3-3 stalemate at Harrowby before the honours were even again in a 1-1 draw at Newark.

Harrowby will also be hosting two cup finals this weekend.

The Culverthorpe Cup final takes place tonight (Friday) when Fulbeck United take on Pointon with a 7pm kick-off.

The United Counties League KO Cup final is then being held on Bank Holiday Monday with Skegness Town taking on Wellingborough with kick-off at 3pm.



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