20-09-05 Att.147

After being out of league action for over a month, Harwood played their second Division 2 fixture in four days. Although the Seasiders were near the foot of the table, a narrow defeat at leaders FC United and a great 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Winsford, suggested that they had got things moving in the right direction. Harwood attacked the Town End in the 1st half on a warm, windless evening with an excellent following of around 25. Some fine football was played by both sides although defences were generally on top and neither keeper was troubled much. Harwood had slightly better of the half chances with the best being a goalmouth scramble involving ten players. Several attempts were made on the home goal with three shots being cleared off the line in an amazing sequence. James Dean was needlessly injured near the left corner flag after refusing to give possession back to Blackpool after they had kicked the ball out for an injured player. Right on half time, Mechanics took the lead in controversial fashion. Bobby Harris sprinted towards the edge of his area in an attempt to save a corner but the linesman flagged to signal that the ball had crossed the line. The referee made one his many strange decisions by awarding a free kick for hand ball just outside the area. With the clock showing 45 minutes, the cross came over and was despatched into the net.
The 2nd half was much the same as the first although Harwood enjoyed the lion’s share of possession. With Eastham, Rogers, and substitute Beard up front, the play was more and more towards the Blackpool goal but the home defence stood firm and the keeper looked competent behind them. The final ten minutes produced several half chances and many corners, and just when it looked as though the defence wouldn’t be breached, the best chance of the game fell to Beard. A scramble in the box ended with the ball falling at the feet of the unmarked striker but he blasted the ball right at the keeper and the last chance was gone. Mechanics raced up the other end and a fine run by a tricky forward was halted with a trip just inside the Harwood box. Up stepped the penalty taker who blasted well over the bar.
The luck had certainly deserted the Robins despite that late let off and a point was the least the side deserved for their efforts.

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©2009 J Fenton