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Harrowby United are through to the United Counties League Division One play-off final





Harrowby produced one of their most complete performances of the season to secure a place in the play-off final.

The Arrows defeated Clipstone 4-1 in their United Counties League Division One play-off semi-final clash despite travelling as underdogs.

Clipstone had finished 23 points ahead of Harrowby in the final league standings but a hat-trick from Elliot King and Harry Allcock's effort sent Harrowby into Saturday's final at Newark Town.

Manager Jamie McGhee leads the celebrations. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Manager Jamie McGhee leads the celebrations. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

They travelled with a strong squad which was only missing the injured Jack Arbon so Harrison Dee slotted into the defence with Jesse Anderson coming into the midfield.

Clipstone had won both the league meetings with the Arrows in the regular season and they started well by testing Harrowby's defence with Kemal Yeniberitz and Lewis Marsh having to head a lot of balls clear as the Cobras went long to their lively forwards.

Ryan Ingram then hit the post for Clipstone as goalkeeper Jake Frestle looked to have it covered before the Arrows custodian collected some good crosses under pressure.

Harry Allcock battles for the ball. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Harry Allcock battles for the ball. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

After weathering the first 20 minutes, Harrowby started to find their feet by winning a lot of individual battles, especially Liam Harper in midfield who had an outstanding game.

As Allcock and King started to get some joy in behind the Clipstone defence, it was the latter who put the Arrows one up with a shot that took a wicked deflection and looped into the net.

This gave the Arrows belief and they had chances to further their lead as Clipstone goalkeeper Dale Sheppard made a remarkable three saves on the trot.

Harry Allcock and Jack Gurney celebrate. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Harry Allcock and Jack Gurney celebrate. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Elliot King. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Elliot King. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

However, Harrowby did get their second goal with Tom Harris again causing his full-back trouble as the ball fell to King and he somehow poked it home into the net.

With the next goal being crucial, the Arrows knew that if it went to Clipstone then they would get their tails up.

And, just before half-time, they had a lifeline as Lewis Bingham broke forward and his shot was deflected into the path of Gareth Curtis who finished past Frestle to leave the score 2-1 to Harrowby at the break.

Clipstone look to stop Harrowby in their tracks. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Clipstone look to stop Harrowby in their tracks. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Jack Gurney wins the ball. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Jack Gurney wins the ball. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

A massive second half was needed for the Arrows as they knew a Clipstone onslaught would happen for the first 10 minutes.

Harrowby held firm with Frestle making a great save after tipping one shot over the bar.

King then had a great chance to extend their lead with a free header before the crucial third goal arrived.

Harry Allcock scores the third goal. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Harry Allcock scores the third goal. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Harry Allcock races away after scoring the third goal. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper
Harry Allcock races away after scoring the third goal. Photo: Steve Nesbitt @lincssnapper

Frestle collected from a Clipstone corner and played a long ball over the home defence for top scorer Allcock and he smashed a left foot shot past Sheppard.

This seemed to deflate the hosts with Jack Gurney and Harper now controlling the midfield.

A few late tackles from the Clipstone players did not deter the Arrows and, when Allcock again lost his marker, keeper Sheppard brought him down for a Harrowby penalty.

This brought a double blow for the hosts as Sheppard was dismissed and King slotted the resultant penalty past replacement goalkeeper Jake Batty.

Harrowby were now dominated with the extra man and somehow new keeper Batty made four good saves to keep the score down as the Arrows finished on top to send a large and vocal travelling contingent of support home happy.



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