Fleetwood Town 5 Great Harwood Town 2
Harwood fall to defeat in Floodlit Cup tie
GREAT HARWOOD TOWN’S first outing in this season’s Lancashire Floodlit Cup competition, turned into what manager Malcolm Darling termed “a disaster” after Fleetwood scored two goals-one a penalty-in rapid succession just after the interval.
Up to then, Harwood, with a number of changes to their side because of injury, unavailability and suspension, had more than held their own, and in fact for much of the first half had looked the better side.
But it was their North West Counties First Division opponents, last season’s beaten finalists in the F.A. Vase competition, who took the lead in the 37th minute, when Howard Taylor took advantage of a poor back-pass by Harwood midfielder Nigel Burton, which held up in the wet conditions, to slot the ball past Harwood’s stand-in ‘keeper Alan Slater.
A few minutes later, however, Harwood equalised when their lively striker Leroy Allen rounded the Fleetwood ‘keeper and put away an impressive goal.
That put Harwood on level terms at the interval, but within a few minutes of the resumption, Fleetwood were 3-1 up when they scored twice in rapid succession, firstly after a mistake by Peter Zarac and then from the penalty spot after a foul on Taylor by Steve Benko.
Fleetwood went 4-1 up, through another goal from Taylor, following another poor back-pass, before Harwood enjoyed an impressive spell of pressure on the home goal, which brought the reward of a second goal for Allen to pull the score back to 4-2.
As Harwood continued to pressurise the Fleetwood goal, Allen had a chance to score a third, but couldn’t make it count and before the end, Fleetwood scored a fifth to complete a comprehensive defeat for the Showground side.
Mr. Darling said he was disappointed by the result, particularly after Harwood, with so many changes to their side, had looked so impressive before Fleetwood broke the deadlock.
“These games are valuable and we intend to learn from them,” said Mr. Darling. “It was the two goals in rapid succession just after the break that really killed us off and it turned into something of a disaster.
“A number of Fleetwood’s goals were due to our mistakes at the back and they took advantage of everything that came their way.”
Making their first appearances of the season for Harwood were midfielder Pip Cocker, reserve striker Peter McCrae and Slater, “borrowed” for the evening from West Lancashire League side ROF. Central defender Mark Jones was injured, so Pete O’Brien lined up with Harold Martin in the centre of defence.
Harwood’s line-up: Slater, Astin, O’Brien, Martin, Benko, Cocker, Burton, Moran, Zarac, McCrae, Allen. Subs: Bennett (replaced Zarac), Vercoe (not used)
F.B. 19th May 2010-I tracked Peter Zarac down to his chippy on Stansfeld Street, Blackburn (which I might add is one of the best in town) to ask him, of his thoughts on the game and in particular, his ‘mistake’ which led to Fleetwood’s second goal.
“I must have been about 18 at the time of the game and I can’t remember anything about it,” he replied with a vague expression on his face.
“I don’t remember making any mistakes during my time at Harwood, so the player in question must have been someone else using my name! It was a tactic sometimes employed by sides back then, especially at away games where no one would recognise you”