A GOAL by Peter McCrae 10 minutes into the second half earned Great Harwood Town their first away league win since October 26 th and boosted their hopes of still being able to clinch a promotion place.

Harwood had not won a league match home or away since their home win against Ashton United on November 23 rd but after their tremendous 4-2 Lancashire Floodlit Cup victory at Chorley last Tuesday, fully deserved maximum points against a Colwyn Bay side a few places above them in the North West Counties Second Division before the match.

Malcolm Darling’s men defended well throughout and restricted the home side to just a half chance late on which fell to Steph Rush, brother of Liverpool ace Ian.

By then, Town were firmly in command, a goal up thanks to McCrae’s 55 th minute effort which he lashed home off a post from 20 yards and with their defence looking in dominant form.

Fifteen minutes from time, they had a glorious opportunity to go 2-0 up, when Eric Geldard crossed to McCrae, but the ball stuck in the mud as the striker attempted to turn the ball home.

On a snow-free pitch, both sides employed the offside trap early on, with scoring chances practically non-existent and it was just a matter of waiting for the right opportunity.

That fell to McCrae 10 minutes into the second half and after that, as long as Town continued to defend as capably as they had done, it was just a matter of holding on to the advantage.

They managed to do that in impressive style and now, with eight home matches and four away games to come in the league, Mr Darling believes his side are still capable of gaining promotion.

“We have to hope that one or two of our rivals trip up against each other,” said Mr Darling, “but basically it is up to us.

“The run up to the end of the season is in our favour as far as home matches are concerned and if we continue to play like we have at Chorley and Colwyn Bay, I hope we will be in with a good chance.”

After leading the table at Christmas, Harwood dropped to ninth due to a mixture of defeats and postponements but now, perhaps, the tide is beginning to turn for them and they can still forge for themselves a place in Division One next season. Only time will tell.

Harwood’s line-up at Colwyn Bay was: Mottershead, Vercoe, Astin, Martin, Jones, Blackburn, Moran, Burton, Benko, Geldard, McCrae. Sub. Foy (not used).

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©2009 J Fenton